Table of Content

    30 July 2019, Volume 39 Issue 4
    Practice of regional function optimization in Sanjiangyuan National Park based on N%
    LI Qi, HU Linyong, CHEN Dongdong, HE Fuquan, CHEN Xin, CAO Yifan, XU Shixiao, ZHAO Liang, ZHAO Xinquan
    2019, 39(4):  347-359.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150342
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    Sanjiangyuan National Park is the first pilot of the national park system in China. It requires the strictest ecological protection. At the same time, the relationship between the local pastoralists’ livelihood and the carrying capacity of resources and environment should be properly handled to form a new model of harmonious development between humans and nature. This study explores the nature proportion (N%), i.e., the minimum conservation area for biodiversity and ecosystem services and the maximum area for local pastoralists’ livelihood at the regional scale of the Sanjiangyuan National Park, and seeks approaches and models of sustainable management of the social-ecological system. The theoretical, realized and predicted N% are calculated based on: the diet niche volume and overlap of domestic livestock (Domestic yak and Tibetan sheep) and wild ungulate herbivores (Tibetan antelope, Tibetan gazelle, Wild yak and Tibetan wild ass), the population, density and land use of dominated livestock (116.70 × 104 sheep unit) and wild ungulate herbivores (31.40 × 104 sheep unit), and the livestock population (123.07 × 104 sheep unit) at local (6.43 × 104) pastoralists’ basic living needs, by 90%, 30 % and 74%, respectively. Furthermore, the realized and predicted N% can be optimized to 67 and 83%, respectively, by spatial coupling and optimizing of resource allocation among regions, and utilizing forage resources produced by the development of the grass industry in the peripheral support area for “Rest grazing during turning green period” and “Warm Grazing Cold Feeding Two-stage Feeding” (supplying forage for 190 days, i.e., an increase of 4.47 × 104 km2 grassland for conservation) or for livestock population
    (feeding livestock of 60.25 × 104 sheep unit, i.e., increase of 1.55 × 104 km2 grassland for conservation) at local pastoralists’ basic living needs. The N% obtained by different accounting conditions, methods, and purposes is quite different. The accounting of a practical and reasonable N% under multiple targets should consider identifying, prioritizing and zoning of biodiversity conservation areas, key areas of ecological security barriers, the areas offsetting the impact of future climate change, the beneficiary areas of important ecosystem services (such as water resources), suitable areas for local pastoralists’ development, and ecosystem services assessment and quantifying of ecosystem services goods. By identifying and comprehensive consideration of all of the above factors affecting the social-ecological system, it is possible to quantify N% for Sanjiangyuan National Park at a scale of ecoregions, so as to realize its sustainable development.
    An assessment and analysis of constraint factors on ecological carrying capacity and ecological security for the Sanjiangyuan National Park
    ZHANG Yaxian, FAN Jiangwen, WANG Suizi, ZHANG Haiyan, GUAN Huiling
    2019, 39(4):  360-372.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150344
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    The Sanjiangyuan Region is an important component of the national ecological security strategic structure —“Two Screens & Three Zones”—in China, and its ecological security situation has a significant impact on China and even the region of Southeast Asia. Combined with information from field investigations and socioeconomic statistics, this paper adopts related methods of remote sensing parameter inversion, model simulation as well as the analytic hierarchy process and comprehensive index system to evaluate the ecological carrying capacity and ecological security situation of the Three River Sources Region. The results show: (1) the ecological carrying capacity of the Three River Sources Region is at the medium level and presents a pattern of decrease from southeast to northwest; (2) the major constraint factors on the ecological carrying capacity are water conservation quantity, NPP, surface water quality, vegetation coverage and the amount of threatened animals in the Three River Sources Region; (3) the general ecological security of the Three River Sources Region ranges from danger to arelatively safe situation; (4) the ecological carrying capacity is relatively low in the western underdeveloped region where the economic backwardness reduces the degree of local environmental protection effort; and meanwhile, the rapid population growth and the low cultural quality in more developed eastern region also causes conflict between economic development and environmental protection.
    The quantity and quality of understory forages of the ungulates’ habitat in the eastern part of Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park
    WANG Le, YANG Limeng, SAI Jiuma, WEI Jingjing, HUANG Chunming, LI Dong, ZHU Xinliang, WANG Tianming, FENG Limin, GE Jianping, MOU Pu
    2019, 39(4):  373-385.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150302
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    Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and Amur leopard (P. pardus orientalis), the flagship species of the ecosystems, mainly prey on red deer (Cervus elaphus), sika deer (C. nippon), roe deer (Capreolus pygargus), and wild boar (Sus scrofa) in the national park region, while the ungulates rely on forest understory plants. All form the major parts of the grazing food chains in the temperate forest ecosystem of Northeast Asia. The main objective of this study is to comprehend the understory plant resource of the area, and establish baseline data through a vast investigation of the forest vegetation in the eastern part of the national park, in order to facilitate the estimation of the carrying capacity of the system in supporting the prey populations. In the growing seasons of 2015 and 2016, 141 sample locations associated with the established camera-trap platforms.were randomly selected The 496 transects were nested with the sampling locations, and 1948 sampling plots further nested with the transects. In this nested sampling system, understory biomass, plant group (tender twigs/leaves, grasses/sedges, forbs, and ferns) compositions were investigated, and nitrogen and carbon contents of plant groups were tested. We found that, (1) Forest canopy closure influences the light availability of the understory vegetation, and its productivity and plant group composition. The understory biomass at the open sites was 3 times of that under the closed canopies (94.91 g/m2 vs. 30.15 g/m2P<0.01). (2) At the open sites, understory biomass was the highest at riparian areas, At the gaps, tender twigs/leaves mainly dominated, while at forest edges, forbs did so, and along the riparian area, mainly sedges. (3) The understory tender twigs/leaves and forbs had the highest N contents, forbs had the lowest C contents and therefore the lowest C/N ratios. The forbs and the tender twigs/leaves should be the better forages for the ungulates. (4) The calorific values of all four understory plant groups were above 17kJ/g with the forbs the lowest. (5) Based on the data, high understory biomass (>40 g/m2) plots dominated by the tender twigs/leaves and forbs were about 16 % of the close canopy plots and 50 % of the open site plots, which could be the hot forage sites for browsers. With the study results, we suggest to maintain some open habitats, as the supplement highly quantity and quality forage patch for wild ungulate i.e. sika deer, to boost their populations for facilitating restoration of the tiger and leopard.
    Forest cattle grazing affects understory food resource of ungulates in the eastern part of the Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park
    WANG Le, FENG Jiawei, AMARSAIKHAN Tseveen, YANG Limeng, HUANG Chunming, LI Dong, ZHU Xinliang, FENG Limin, WANG Tianming, GE Jianping, MOU Pu
    2019, 39(4):  386-396.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150303
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    Forest cattle grazing is known as the most extensive and influential human disturbance in the Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park. The study of cattles’ effects on plant food resources of ungulates is not only the key to facilitating the estimation of carrying capacity of the ecosystem in supporting populations of ungulates, but also provides strong support for the comprehensive management and conservation tasks of the park. In 2016, sampling locations were selected by stratified sampling from grazed and ungrazed region in the east part of national park and experimental enclosures and controls were established at each location. Three hundred 1m2 plant plots were surveyed and harvested in the growing season of 2017. In the meanwhile, we also collected the ungulates’ abundance by camera-traps within each control point to study the grazing effects on shrub layer and ungulates. In general, the forest cattle grazing in our study area significantly reduced the above-ground biomass of shrub and herbage layer by 24%. Tender twigs/leaves were significantly reduced by the cattle in the grazed region. In addition, the nitrogen contents of understory except for grasses in the grazed region were significantly higher than those in the ungrazed region. Moreover, we found Relative Abundance Indices (RAI) of sika deer (Cervus nippon) from ungrazed regions were significantly h igher than those of
    grazed regions. However, there was no difference between grazed and ungrazed regions for the RAI of roe deer (Capreolus pygargus) or wild boar (Sus scrofa). In summary, forest cattle grazing reduced understory food resources and the abundances of ungulates in the east part of the Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park. With the study results, we suggest to stop forest cattle grazing immediately for recovering the habitat of ungulates.
    Habitat suitability analysis of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and bharal (Pseudois nayaur) in the Sanjiangyuan National Park
    CHI Xiangwen, JIANG Feng, GAO Hongmei, QIN Wen, WU Tong, ZHANG Jingjie, CAI Zhenyuan, ZHANG Tongzuo
    2019, 39(4):  397-409.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150300
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    Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is the flagship species of biodiversity conservation on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. They feed mainly on Bharal (Pseudois nayaur). Study of the habitat suitabilities of the two species can provide a scientific basis for their population protection in Sanjiangyuan National Park. Based on our extensive survey of Pseudois nayaur and Panthera uncia distributions in the national park, we used a Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) model to evaluate Pseudois nayaur and Panthera uncia habitat suitabilities and their spatial distribution patterns in the food chain, and to investigate the relationship between habitat and the main environmental variables. The results showed that altitude, the precipitation during the driest month, and the annual temperature range were the main environmental factors affecting the spatial distributions of Pseudois nayaur and Panthera uncia. The optimum altitude ranges of the two overlapped in the range of 4660 ~4730 m, and the precipitation during the driest month and the annual temperature range of the two overlapped in the range of 2 ~4 mm and 33.7℃~37.0℃, respectively. The areas of high- and medium-level suitable habitat for Panthera uncia and Pseudois nayaur in the national park were 19 246 km2 and 39 977 km2, accounting for 15.63% and 32.47% of the total area of the park, respectively. Meanwhile, the areas of overlap for high- and medium-level suitable habitat was 16 621 km2, accounting for 13.50% of the total area of the park. These were mainly located in the northeast, central and eastern regions of
    Lancang river source park and the southeast region of Yangtze river source park. This study can provide a theoretical basis for the formulation of protection and management measures for Pseudois nayaur and Panthera uncia in the Three-River-Source National Park.
    Species diversity and fauna of mammals in Sangjingyuan National Park#br#
    CAI Zhenyuan, QIN Wen, GAO Hongmei, WU Tong, CHI Xiangwen, YANG Jundong, MIAO Ziyan, ZHANG Jingjie, SONG Pengfei, LIAN Xinming, SU Jianping, ZHANG Tongzuo
    2019, 39(4):  410-420.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150215
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    The Sangjiangyuan National Park, locating in the hinterland of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, is the most concentrated area of plateau biology diversity. From 2015 to 2017, the faunas and distribution of wide mammals in Sangjiangyuan National Park were recorded in the national park. These 62 species belonged to 8 orders, 19 families, and 44 genera. From the classification system, the species of Carnivora, Rodentia, Artiodactyla were rich, and species of Chiroptera, Primates, Perissodactyla were poor. The mammal fauna feature of Sanjiangyuan National Park is high species diversity, existing many endemic species, key protected species and threatened species, which shows the extremely high conservation value. The results of G-F index showed that the species diversity was high in Sanjiangyuan National Park. A total of 28 species of mammals in the national park were included in key protected wildlife, accounting for 45.16% species distributed: 8 and 14 species were class I and II nationally key protected animals, respectively, and six species were listed in the list of key protected animals of Qinghai Province. And 20 species were classified as threatened (including critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable) category of Red List of China’s Vertebrates, accounting for 32.26% species distributed in Sangjingyuan National Park. 29 species were endemic to China or Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, accounting for 46.77%. The wild animal fauna of Sanjiangyuan National Park belongs to the Palearctic realm Qinghai-Tibet region and a total of 9 geographical distribution
    pattern were identified, including 25 species of high alpine types which had great population amount. The results showed that the main species in Sanjiangyuan National Park highly adapted the dry-and-cold weather of the plateau. The results of average faunal resemblance analysis suggested that the Yellow River source park was closely related to Yangtze River source park and Lancang River source park, and the Yangtze River source park was consistently related Lancang River source park. In recent years, the work of mammals conservation in Sanjiangyuan area has achieved good results and has been recognized at home and abroad, and some suggestions for monitoring and protection in the future were put forward according to the current situation of the national park.
    Spatial utilization and activity pattern characteristics of a giant panda during the reproduction-rearing period#br#
    ZHANG Jindong, HUANG Jinyan, ZHOU Shiqiang, Vanessa HULL, ZHANG Hemin, OUYANG Zhiyun
    2019, 39(4):  421-430.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150325
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    The spatial utilization and activity pattern characteristics of wild animals during reproduction are specific manifestations of long-term adaptation to the environment in which they live, and are among the most important basic issues in animal ecology research. However, few studies have focused on the behavioral strategies adopted by individual animals in spatial use at different spatial and temporal scales. From March 2010 to March 2012, using GPS collars equipped with dual-axis activity sensors, we recorded the activity locations and activity level of a female wild giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) which conceived and gave birth to a cub. We studied the spatial use and activity patterns of the giant panda in different reproductive stages (period after mating and conception, cub-bearing period and breeding period). Results show that, in the breeding period (March 2010 to March 2011), the main utilization space of female giant panda was 2.13km2; during the period after mating and conception (from April to June), the range of activity, average daily movement distance and activity level of the female giant panda increased considerably; around the cub-bearing period (from August to September), the range of activity of the female giant panda was distinctly reduced, and the average daily movement distance and activity intensity were visibly reduced. In winter, the range of activity, average daily movement distance and activity level of the female giant panda gradually increased. In the breeding period (March 2011 to March 2012), the main utilization space of the female giant panda with the cub was 2.31km2, which was slightly higher than that in the period of cub-bearing. The average daily movement distance and activity intensity of the giant panda were lower than that in the spring of the period of cub-bearing, however, the average daily movement distance and activity intensity of giant panda were considerably higher in summer, autumn and winter than that in the same season of the previous year. Results of our study can provide a scientific basis for the formulation of policies on the protection and management of giant pandas and their habitats during the breeding period.
    Study on habitat use and activity rhythms of wild boar in eastern region of Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park#br#
    ZHAO Guojing, GONG Yinan, YANG Haitao, XIE Bing, WANG Tianming, GE Jianping, FENG Limin
    2019, 39(4):  431-441.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150332
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    Wild boar (Sus scrofa) is one of the most widely distributed large mammals in the world. It is one of the main ungulates and the main prey of tigers in the Northeastern Tiger and Leopard National Park. In this study, we summarize the variations of habitat selection and daily activity rhythms in different seasons. We collected camera trap data from May 2015 to April 2016. We used the occupancy model to study the effects of human factors, environmental factors and
    wild boar habitat selection. The results showed that the wild boar prefers coniferous forests, conifer- broadleaf forests and high-altitude areas, while avoiding human activities, and frequent grazing and settlements areas. Interspecific interactions had an important impact on wild boar: wild boar will avoid the predator, Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), but the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) had a positive impact on it. Two potential competitors, roe deer(Capreolus pygargus) and sika deer(Cervus nippon), had opposite effects in different seasons, suchthat the wild boar deviated from sika deer in winter and deviated from roe deer in summer. Moreover, the daily activity rhythms of wild boar had two peaks in summer and one peak in winter. The wild boar was mainly diurnal and crepuscular and reached the highest peak before sunset in this study area.
    An analysis of genetic structure of snow leopard populations in Sanjiangyuan and Qilianshan National Parks
    ZHANG Yuguang, Charlotte HACKER, ZHANG Yu, XUE Yadong, WU Liji, DAI Yunchuan, LUO Ping, Xierannima, Jan E JANECKA, LI Diqiang
    2019, 39(4):  442-449.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150304
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    Understanding the genetic information of endangered species is very important to conservation and management of wildlife. In this study, we collected scats in Qilianshan National Park (QNP) and Sanjiangyuan National Park (SNP) which are important distribution areas for snow leopard in China. Using a molecular panel that included the mtDNA cytb gene, polymorphic microsatellite loci, we identified snow leopard scat, determined the number of individuals observed, and evaluated genetic diversity. A total of 286 scats were collected and 86 of these were from the snow leopard. Among all scats, 41 individual snow leopard were detected based on unique composite microsatellite genotypes, including 26 in QNP and 15 in SNP. The results indicated that the genetic diversity in QNP and SNP was relatively low based on the numbers of alleles and effective alleles, observed heterozygosity, expected heterozygosity and polymorphism information content. The diversity was higher in QNP than in SNP. Population genetic structure analysis revealed all the snow leopard individuals were divided into 3 genetic clusters and these surveyed populations had moderate levels of differentiation. Two of clusters included individuals from distant areas (QLS and DC) indicating the potential for corridors that link these subpopulations. Our study provides important information on the status and genetic diversity of the endangered snow leopard populations in two critical areas of China.
    Method of automatic counting of large herbivores from UAV images in the Source Region of Three Rivers
    WU Fangming, ZHU Weiwei, WU Bingfang, ZHAO Xinquan
    2019, 39(4):  450-457.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150329
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    There is more and more research on the application of UAV in animal surveys, but there is no effective automatic image processing method, which makes the work of visual interpretation heavy. In order to quickly and accurately count the number of large herbivores in the source area of the Three Rivers, two UAVs were used to collect images from seven sites. Initially, the UAV image is grayed to reduce the matrix dimension and retain the gradient information, which greatly improves the operation speed. Secondly, the image is filtered by Gauss filter, which transforms the data into energy and eliminates the noise belonging to the low-energy part. Thirdly, threshold processing is carried out to get the binary image. Then the morphological characteristics of animal husbandry in the sample are used to produce the shape. The state operation first eliminates the interference of small objects as much as possible without deleting livestock by mistake, and then excludes small black holes by closed operation to connect the same object without repeated counting. Finally, the contour is retrieved from the binary image and the number of detected contours is returned. Thus, the number and spatial distribution of the main livestock species are automatically obtained. Comparing manual counting with automatic counting, the relative error is between 3.1% and 6.5%, which can be reached in most cases. The average time of image processing and counting is less than 3 seconds after automatic image processing by computer. The automatic processing method of UAV image can provide an effective and reliable technical way for large-scale investigation of Tibetan sheep, yaks, Tibetan wild ass and Tibetan antelope in the future.
    AI recognition of infrared camera image of wild animals based on deep learning: Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park for example
    GONG Yinan, TAN Mengyu, WANG Zhen, ZHAO Guojing, JIANG Peilin, JIANG Shiming, ZHANG Dingji, GE Jianping, FENG Limin
    2019, 39(4):  458-465.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150333
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    Video data of wild animals from infrared cameras always has a large quantity, which takes a lot of work to select and identify. In order to meet the demand of fast automatic identification, this study, using Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park as an example, is to explore the practicability of using deep learning, convolutional neural networks to automatically identify different animal species, using videos taken by infrared cameras in the wild, under natural conditions. Pictures of each 8 species, captured from the videos from different seasons and of different conditions, consist of the data set. 2074 pictures for train set and 519 for test set. Region of Interest is selected and labeled, the model is YOLO v3 under darknet framework. All pictures are in one data set in the first group of experiment. In the second group, pictures are divided into day(RGB) and night(Grey), and in the third group, divided into day(RGB) and night(Grey) while fine-tuning is used. The mean average precision of our models is from 84.9% to 96.0%, and the models converge. Results show that althoug it is still needed to use better train set to improve the models, using YOLO v3 to identify wild animals automatically is practicable to save manpower and fine-tuning could be an assistance when the train set is small.
    Camera-trapping survey of the mammals and birds in the Qilian Mountain National Park (Qinghai area), China
    XUE Yadong, LI Jia, HU Yang, MA Li, QIAN Weiqiang, YAN Pinfa, YANG Mingwei, CHEN Daxiang, WU Bo, LI Diqiang
    2019, 39(4):  466-475.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150307
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    Camera traps were installed to investigate mammalian and avian species diversity in the Qilian Mountain National Park (Qinghai area), China,from May to September 2017. This study consisted of an intensive survey effort of 12,096 camera days at 154 locations. We collected 9,675 independent photographs representing 23 species of wild mammals belonging to 10 families and 5 orders, 50 species of wild birds belonging to 19 families and 9 orders, and 5 domestic animal species. The five most abundant species were Pseudois nayaur (18.23), Marmota himalayana (15.98), Lepus oiostolus (5.06), Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax (3.39) and Ochotona curzoniae (2.49). Among the detected species, 4 are listed as Class I state key protected wild animals in China and 20 as Class II. One species is classified as Critically Endangered by the Red List of China’s Vertebrates, 6 are classified as Endangered, 3 are classified as Vulnerable and 14 are classified as Near Threatened. Seven of the photographed species are endemic to China and include Felis bieti, Gervus albirostris, Cervus wallichii, Procapra picticaudata, Ochotana erythrotis, Crossoptilon auritum and Pseudopodoces humilis. Our results provide a comprehensive baseline of the wildlife present in the Qilian Mountain National Park (Qinghai area) to be used for biodiversity management and conservation purposes.
    Analysis on the human-wildlife conflict in the Sanjiangyuan Region
    YAN Jingyan, ZHANG Yu, CAI Zhenyuan, CHEN Jiarui, QIN Wen, ZHANG Jingjie, LIAN Xinming, ZHANG Tongzuo
    2019, 39(4):  476-484.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150216
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    Records on human-wildlife conflicts in Sanjiangyuan,Qumalai、Zhiduo and Nangqian Counties from 2015 to 2016 were analyzed to find the main causing species and to trace the rules in the time distribution、the geographic distribution and the damage patterns. As our results showed:(1)the main causing animals were Canis lupus(978 cases,64.13%), Ursus arctos(117 cases,7.67%), Uncia uncia(5 cases,0.33%)and Bos mutus(3 cases,0.20%)in order,leaving 422 cases(27.67%)without causing species information;(2)the time distribution of the conflicts was not very stable and the peak period differed in different years and regions;but totally,conflicts in January,February and December were fewer,and the peak period typically occurred during June to September;(3)as to the geographic distribution,the situation in Qumalai and Zhiduo was heavier,especially Qiuzhi and Maduo towns in Qumalai and Zhiqu,Duocai,Lixin and Zhahe in Zhiduo;the conflict hotspot was located in the juncture of Qumalai and Zhiduo Counties;the situation in Nangqian was relatively slighter;(4)the attack and injury to cattle(749 cases,79.94%)was the most common damage type,and conflicts with this damage type were much more than those causing damages to sheep(56 cases,5.98%)or horses(24 cases,2.56%),or house and furniture(108 cases,11.53%). This study will provide reliable information for more effective actions to prevent and alleviate the human-wildlife conflicts in Sanjiangyuan.