Table of Content

    30 May 2023, Volume 43 Issue 3
    Habitat prediction of Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) in Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve, Gansu Province
    Liwen HE, Xiaotong YANG, Jirong TENG, Junliang WANG, Sheng LI, Lingyun XIAO, Jian HUANG
    2023, 43(3):  237-247.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150737
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    The Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) is listed as a First Class species in the National Key Protected Wild Animals in China, and assessed as Near Threatened (NT) and Endangered (EN) by IUCN Red List and China Species Red List, respectively. Once widely distributed from East to Southeast Asia, the Asiatic golden cat inhabits diverse habitats ranging from lowland rainforests to montane coniferous forests and subalpine rhododendron forests, whereas its habitat selection preference remains poorly understood. In this research we determined the habitat selection strategy of this species in the montane forest ecosystem in Southwest China. We collected the occurrence data (292 independent detections at 117 sites) of the Asiatic golden cat through camera-trapping surveys from 2016 - 2019 in Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve in Gansu Province, and constructed a MaxEnt model with 7 environmental variables (altitude, aspect, slope, distance to river, land use type, distance to road, distance to residents) to predict its suitable habitats in the reserve. The results showed that the suitable habitats were estimated as 1 045.90 km2 in the reserve, yet separated into the northern and southern parts by natural and anthropocentric barriers including the Bailongjiang River, 212 National Highway and the residential area along the low valley. The model response curves showed that the Asiatic golden cat prefers the evergreen coniferous forests close to rivers, at an elevation of around 2 400 m. The results indicated that, the wide river and anthropogenic impacts (e.g. roads) are possibly key factors driving the fragmentation status of the Asiatic golden cat’s habitat at the landscape scale. Future studies shall further examine the impacts of different types of human disturbance on Asiatic golden cats, and explore their basic ecology including diet composition, activity rhythm, population status and dynamics by integrating multiple methods.

    Distribution, group size and activity rhythm of wolves (Canis lupus) in the Gongga Mountains, Sichuan Province
    Jiang QIAO, Xiaoli GONG, Wei JIA, Guoqing JIA, Yong JIANG, Huaming ZHOU, Jiaqi LI, Anxiang WEN, Jie WANG
    2023, 43(3):  248-257.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150542
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    The wolf (Canis lupus) is one of the largest and most widely distributed carnivores in the world. Historically, it occurred throughout mainland China, but its range has shrunk dramatically due to habitat loss and human persecution. We conducted wildlife camera trapping in 1 km grid cells, with 195 cells and 286 sites in total, in Mt. Gongga from 2011 to 2020. Wolves were detected in 46 cells and at 56 sites, with 278 independent detections. The detection percentage was 23.6% and 19.6% for grid cells and sites, respectively. Wolves were found at altitudes ranging from 3 097 m to 4 563 m. The group size of wolves averaged (1.2 ± 0.5) ind., with no significant variance among vegetation types or between seasons (t = -1.119, P = 0.266; t = -0.251, P = 0.801). Wolves were active at 03: 00 - 07: 00 and 15: 00 - 17: 00 in the dry season (November - April), and were active at 03: 00 - 07: 00 and 13: 00 - 15: 00 in the rainy season (May - October). The temporal activity pattern significantly overlapped between wolves and sympatric herbivores. The highest degree of overlap was with the Chinese serow Capricornis milneedwardsii (Δ4 = 0.908) in the dry season and with the sambar deer Rusa unicolor (Δ4 = 0.895) in the rainy season. This study determined the distribution, population size and activity rhythm of wolves in Mt. Gongga for the first time, providing reliable information for further studies and large carnivore management in the nature reserve.

    Mammal diversity in the forest fragments of Wuhan City
    Qiwei WANG, Hengyue ZHAO, Qin LIU, Neng WAN, Zhibing ZHU, Hongyu NIU, Hongmao ZHANG
    2023, 43(3):  258-269.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150730
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    Urbanization is one of the main reasons for forest fragmentation in urban systems, which causes threats to biodiversity through both species decline and biotic homogenization. This study aims to reveal the richness, abundance, and diversity of mammals on the fragmented forest patches in urban, suburban and rural areas. Our study helps to provide substantial data for the protection of mammal diversity and land-use planning in urban ecosystems. According to the urban-suburban-rural gradient, we surveyed the diversity of mammals on 13 forest patches in Wuhan from 2019 to 2021 by using literature reviewing and camera-trapping. Taking the patch area, distance to the urban center, isolation, and shape index as patch characteristics of urbanization, we analyzed the relationships between species composition and patch characteristics by using RDA, and examined the relationships between the species diversity and patch characteristics by using linear regression. We recorded 15 forest mammals in total, which belong to 8 orders and 6 families. The dominant species are Racoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), Asian badger (Meles leucurus), Wild boar (Sus scrofa), and Confucian niviventer (Niviventer confucianus). The fauna type is dominated by oriental species. The species composition was positively correlated with distance to the urban center in suburban forest, and negatively correlated with area in urban forest. The species richness (P < 0.01) and Shannon-Wiener diversity index (P < 0.05) were significantly positively correlated with the distance to urban center. There was no significant correlation between species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity index with isolation and shape index (P > 0.05). Our study showed that the distance to the urban center was the main factor affecting forest mammal diversity in Wuhan. The high speed of urbanization in Wuhan has reduced the mammal diversity. For maintaining and restoring the high diversity of mammals, we recommend that some specific measures should be carried out in urban forest patches to reduce human disturbance and protect natural forests, especially the continuous natural forests in the suburban and rural areas.

    Behavioral ethogram and posture‒act‒environment coding system of wild Leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) based on infrared camera technology
    Ling LIU, Aigang XIAO, Tiejian ZHAO, Xiaomei FENG, Suxia SHEN, Xianwang LU, Hongwu GUAN, Dapeng ZHAO
    2023, 43(3):  270-279.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150713
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    From June 2017 to April 2021, the behavioral ethogram and posture?act?environment (PAE) coding system of wild Leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) were investigated based on infrared camera technology. The behavioral diversity of wild leopard cats across seasons and age groups was also statistically analyzed. In this study, we identified and recorded 8 types of postures, 39 acts, and 25 behaviors of wild leopard cats and established the behavioral ethogram and PAE coding system for this species. We also found that the total absolute diversity index Htotal and the total relative diversity index rtotal of Leopard cats were the highest in summer and the lowest in winter. There was a significant difference between the absolute diversity index H and relative diversity index r in autumn and winter (H: Z = -2.023, P = 0.043; r: Z = -2.023, P = 0.043). The total absolute diversity index Htotal and the total relative diversity index rtotal of adults were higher than cubs, and there were significant age-group differences in the relative diversity index r (Z = -2.018, P = 0.044). These findings provide a scientific basis for the comprehensive protection of natural populations of wild leopard cats.

    Population viability analysis of Père David’s deer (Elaphurus davidianus) in Dongting Lake, Hunan Province
    Conglei LI, Shurong TIAN, Yucheng SONG, Hong ZHANG, Dali GAO, Daode YANG, Xiaojie GUI
    2023, 43(3):  280-292.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150710
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    Population viability analysis is a method of evaluating population size and extinction risk of threatened species, through analysis of factors such as population statistical randomness, environmental randomness, natural disasters, spatial structure of habitats and various management approaches to assess their impacts on threatened species and provide theoretical support for conservation and management strategies.The Père David’s deer (Elaphurus davidianus) population in the Dongting Lake is a naturalized population. Due to low population growth as a result of flooding, and the threat of insularization and inbreeding depression, it is necessary to formulate a conservation action plan to preserve that population. We monitored the population from 2006 to 2020 and analyzed population viability based on the data collected. There were 3 groups of individuals in the area, with a total population size of about 210 individuals. We used the VORTEX model ( to simulate dynamics of the population for the next 100 years based on various population parameters, including current population status, mating system, carrying capacity, and mortality. Under ideal conditions and assumed carrying capacity of 1 000 individuals, the probability of population extinction is 0, the intrinsic growth rate r is 0.0991 ± 0.0800, the instantaneous growth rate λ is 1.1041 ± 1.1900, the net reproduction rate R0 is 2.006 2, the average generation time of females T is 7.03 years, and average generation time of males T is 8.65 years. The population viability analysis indicated that the coefficient of inbreeding will increase by 8.08%, and expected and observed heterozygosity will decrease by 6.57% and 8.30%, respectively. We found through sensitivity analysis that low birth rate and high fawn mortality caused by flooding would be the main factors influencing population growth, and the probability of population extinction would be positively correlated to the frequency and degree of influence of flooding. Based on these analyses, we provided recommendations on protection and management strategies of the population.

    Effects of dietary protein contents on the immune function of plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae)
    Lu ZHANG, Xueqin WU, Huiqing CHEN, Xin DONG, Guozhen SHANG, Yan WU, Jianghui BIAN
    2023, 43(3):  293-303.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150743
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    The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is not only a small herbivorous mammal unique to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, but also a keystone species in the alpine grassland ecosystem. The population number of plateau pikas has increased dramatically with the degradation of grasslands caused by overgrazing. Our recent research has found that the immune system of plateau pikas was significantly enhanced as the alpine grassland degrades, and speculated it maybe related to the rich high-protein food resources in the degraded alpine grassland. To further validate this hypothesis, a field experiment was conducted in a highly degraded grassland of the Qinghai Haibei National Field Research Station of Alpine Grassland Ecosystem. The objective of this study is to verify the hypothesis that rich high-protein food resources could increase the immune system of plateau pikas. Six sample plots (70 m × 70 m) were randomized amongst three treatment groups: no supplementation (control); supplementation with rabbit chow with 5% protein; and supplementation with rabbit chow with 20% protein. We measured the fecal cortisol metabolite (FCM) levels, phytohemagglutinin (PHA) response, IgG levels of keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) in serum, and intestinal parasitic infection status of plateau pikas. The results showed that supplementation with pelleted chow with 20% protein treatment significantly decreased the FCM levels of plateau pikas, significantly increased the PHA response and IgG levels against KLH, and significantly reduced the infection rate of coccidia and the infection intensity of cestodes. This result confirmed the above hypothesis and suggested that in degraded alpine grasslands, high-protein food can promote the growth of plateau pika populations by alleviating the vicious cycle between stress-immunity-parasitic infections.

    Characteristics of tetracycline antibiotic resistance genes in intestinal microorganisms and intestinal environment of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys
    Shuzhen ZOU, Ya LUO, Ming CHENG, Fan WANG, Dayong LI, Di KANG, Yun TANG
    2023, 43(3):  304-314.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150671
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    The gut of wild animals has been shown to be a reservoir for microorganisms that contain antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) are at particular risk for ARGs. The intestinal microbial composition of female and male Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys was determined using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Tetracycline antibiotic resistance genes (T-ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) were detected by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and intestinal enzyme activities and nutrient contents of the monkeys intestinal microorganisms were analyzed. A network model was used to analyze the potential host bacteria of T-ARGs and MGEs. A simple correlative relationship was used to analyze the relationship between the abundances of T-ARGs and MGEs and the intestinal micro?ecological environment. The results showed no significant difference in the absolute abundance of T-ARGs and MGEs between female and male monkey groups. The relative abundance of Verrucomicrobia and Fibrobacteres in the intestines of the female group were significantly lower than those of the male group, while the activities of cellulase and protease content were significantly higher than those of the male group. T-ARGs could be used as an indicator of management risks of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys in the exhibition area, who may face three potential risks. First, opportunistic pathogens in Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys are potential hosts of T-ARGs and there may be a risk of drug resistance in Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys treated with tetracycline antibiotics. Second, lipase activity, protease activity, and cellulase activity can improve the transfer ability of MGEs, which suggests that the method of maintaining intestinal digestive ability of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys in the exhibition area may be contrary to the goal of reducing the transfer ability of T-ARGs. Third, T-ARGs may inhibit proteins being digested and amino acids being absorbed. It is suggested to control the sources of T-ARGs exposure in the exhibition area, in order to ensure the stability of the intestinal micro-ecological environment and to reduce the drug resistance of pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, extra attention should be paid to the individual health of male Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys.

    The three-dimensional reconstruction and parameter measurement of the skull of Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in China
    Qiang LIU, Haijun WANG, Yue ZHAO, Shiyu CHEN, Guangshun JIANG
    2023, 43(3):  315-321.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150740
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    The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), one of the world’s most endangered cat subspecies, is mainly distributed in the Northeastern Tiger and Leopard National Park and its surrounding areas in China. No skull measurements have been reported due to its rarity. In this study, the head specimen of a female Amur leopard who died of severe illness was used as the research object. The image data was acquired by scanning with the Dachang Sunshine32 X-ray computed tomography device and the 3D skull reconstruction was performed with the 3D Slicer software to establish the‘digital specimen’of the Amur leopards and measure 26 cranial parameters. This study filled the gap in the digital morphology model of the northeast leopard’s skull among the big cats in China, and provided a basis for the future conservation work of large endangered cats, such as research, conservation, medical treatment, data preservation and feline population differentiation. Morphological information from the skull laid the foundation for taxonomic studies of the Amur leopard. For taxonomic studies of mammals, cranial features have been, and continue to be, important evidence for understanding both interspecific and intraspecific taxonomy.

    Screening the critical morphology and skull indices for identifying Rattus norvegicus and Rattus tanezumi
    Yan CHEN, Yaxian YUE, Tao WANG, Lei ZHEN, Donghui LI, Runyu TAO, Ying SONG, Deng WANG
    2023, 43(3):  322-332.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150720
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    Clarifying the validity of characters that can classify similar rodent species can contribute to defining species quickly and accurately. We identified 36 sympatric rats into R. norvegicus (n = 31) and R. tanezumi (n = 5) by aligning the partial sequence of Vkorc1 gene (725 bp). Based on the identification results of Vkorc1 gene, we compared the accuracy of the classification and identification results of the two species by principal component analysis and cluster analysis of morphology and skull indices, which included 21 permutations of body weight, body length, tail length, ear length and hind foot length, tail length/body length, hind foot length/body length and fatness, and 2 combining indices of skull metrics. The body metrics combination of tail length/body length, ear length/body length, and fatness accurately classified all individuals of the two species. The skull morphology index combination of the length of the upper cheek tooth row, length of the lower cheek tooth row, length of the tympanic bulla, and width of the tympanic bulla also all individuals of the two species. These results provided the critical body or skull morphological characters and corresponding analytical approaches for classifying and identifying the two species.

    Analysis of the nutritional status of vitamins and trace elements in adult male captive giant pandas at different feeding stages
    Mingxi LI, Huanliu HE, Hao ZHANG, Han LI, Tao DENG, Min CHEN, Hairui WANG, Ying YAO
    2023, 43(3):  333-341.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150691
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    In the wild, giant pandas have access to a broad range of dietary options, however, for captive individuals, dietary options are greatly reduced. Maintaining a balanced diet, which includes the appropriate levels of micronutrients, is essential to the ex-situ conservation of the giant panda. Evaluating the micronutrient status of captive giant pandas at different feeding stages is a necessary step in constructing a scientific feeding strategy for this iconic species. In this study, seven healthy adult captive giant pandas were selected and fed bamboo leaves (bamboo leaf stage) and bamboo shoots (bamboo shoots stage) in turn. Feeding tests were carried out three times during the bamboo leaf stage and twice during the shoot stage. Each feeding test lasted for three days and the interval between each feeding test was 28 days. During the tests, the daily food intake of the giant pandas was recorded, the vitamin content of the bamboo that was provided was measured and corresponding mineral content was referenced so as to compare the daily intake of vitamins and minerals during the different feeding stages. Blood samples were collected at the end of each feeding stage, and the serum levels of 13 vitamins and 10 minerals were determined. In bamboo shoots, the contents of VA, VE, VK1, nicotinic acid, pyridoxal and pyridoxine were lower, while the contents of VB5 and VB12 were higher than those in bamboo leaves (P < 0.05). Compared with the bamboo leaf stage, the daily intakes of VE, VK1, Ca, Fe, Cu and Mn decreased significantly, while the daily intakes of VB5, VB6, VB7, VB12, Mg and Zn increased significantly during the bamboo shoot stage (P < 0.05). Moreover, the serum levels of VB2, Cr and Se were lower, while the levels of VE, VK1, VB5, VB7, VB9 and VB12 were higher during the bamboo shoot stage (P < 0.05). The results showed that feeding different bamboo parts could affect both the intake and serum levels of vitamins and minerals of captive giant pandas. The differences and patterns of micro-nutrition status between different bamboo feeding stages can provide a theoretical basis for the provisioning of bamboo as well as the nutritional supplementation in the daily feeding and management of captive giant pandas.

    Diversity and activity rhythm of mammals and birds in the Badagongshan National Nature Reserve, Hunan inferred through camera traps
    Xiangdong RUAN, Yixin CHEN, Boyu WANG, Xiao YANG, Chunlin LIAO, Yang YU, Cheng GUO
    2023, 43(3):  342-351.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150708
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    Identifying the status of fauna diversity in protected areas is important for understanding their current population demography and distribution, while is essential for accurate conservation planning. Due to the complex terrain and dense vegetation, the knowledge of the fauna diversity status of Mt. Wuling, situated at the edge of the Yun-Gui Plateau,remains insufficient. From March 2017 to December 2018, we investigated the diversity, community composition, and activity rhythms of terrestrial mammals and birds by deploying 60 infrared camera traps at the northern Mt. Wuling in Badagongshan National Nature Reserve, Hunan, China. We established 60 camera sites, monitored totaling 18 525 camera-trapping days, and identified 2 865 independent images. We totally identified 15 mammals and 35 birds, belonging to 8 orders, 25 families, and 37 genera. We also identified three birds, namely Schoeniparus dubius, Turdus feae, and Emberiza tristrami as new recorded species for the reserve. Rodentia, Cetartiodactyla, Carnivora, Galliformes, and Passeriformes were the most abundant orders and widely occurred in the study area. Based on the detailed time records of the eight most abundant species, the results show that: (1) Dremomys pyrrhomerus and Paguma larvata are typically diurnal and nocturnal mammals respectively, and their activity rhythms are consistent with other populations outside the region; (2) Both Elaphodus cephalophus and Sus scrofa exhibit cathemeral activities but their activity rhythms are significantly different from each other; (3) We also detected significant differences in activity rhythms, between Tragopan temminckii and Chrysolophus pictus as well as between Garrulax ocellatus and Leiothrix lutea. This survey provides basic and valuable information on the current status of mammalian and avian diversity in Badagongshan National Nature Reserve, which is essential for wildlife monitoring and biodiversity conservation in this area.

    New records of Crocidura dongyangjiangensis and Crocidura anhuiensis in Jiangxi Province
    Jiangxiao HU, Yifan XU, Zhian ZOU, Wei ZENG, Jie DAI, Xueyang REN, Hongfeng YAO, Zhongzheng CHEN
    2023, 43(3):  352-356.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150723
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    In June 2022, four specimens of Crocidura were collected from Wuyi Mountain, Yanshan County, Jiangxi Province. Morphological and phylogenetic analyses showed that one specimen is C. dongyangjiangensis, and the other three are C. anhuiensis. Both species are the first records in Jiangxi Province. The specimen of C. dongyangjiangensis exhibits a light gray-brown color, has a small body type head-body length of 63 mm, tail length of 40 mm, cranial length of 16.57 mm, and a narrow skull. These morphological features are consistent with the description of specimens from Dongyangjiang, Zhejiang Province. The maximum likelihood (ML) tree based on Cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene showed a monophyletic group between this specimen and C. dongyangjiangensis, and the genetic distance (p-distance) between them ranged from 0.6% to 1.8%. The other three specimens identified as C.anhuiensis from Jiangxi are medium-sized shrews. They have head-body length of 75 ? 87 mm and tail length of 52 ? 62 mm (68% ? 77% of head-body length), which are consistent with the morphology of the specimens from Huangshan, Anhui Province. The ML tree showed these three specimens formed a monophyletic group with the C. anhuiensis from Anhui, and their genetic difference (p-distance) was 1.2%.