Journal of Ecology and Rural Environment ›› 2016, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 90-95.doi: 10.11934/j.issn.1673-4831.2016.01.015

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Wintering Behavioral Features and Niche Partition of Two Species of Anseriformes Birds(Anser cygnoide and Anser albifrons) at Nanji Wetland National Nature Reserve, Poyang Lake

GUO Hong1, SHAO Ming-qin1, HU Bin-hua2, PANG Jia-peng1, YU Guan-jun2   

  1. 1. College of Life Science, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022, China;
    2. Nanji Wetland National Nature Reserve Authority, Nanchang 330023, China
  • Received:2015-05-25 Online:2016-01-25 Published:2016-01-27


During the period from December 2014 to March 2015, Swan geese Anser cygnoide and white-fronted geese Anser albifrons in Nanji Wetland National Nature Reserve, Poyang Lake, Jiangxi Province were studied for their behavior patterns and habitat preferences. Results show that the two species behaved quietly, devoting most of their times to resting and foraging. Swan geese seemed to spend more time in resting and hence less time in foraging than white-fronted geese. Swan geese foraged mainly during the period of 14:00-15:00 and rested mainly during the period of 13:00-14:00, while white-fronted geese fed mainly during the periods of 8:00-9:00, 12:00-13:00 and 16:00-17:00, and rested mainly during the periods of 10:00-11:00, 12:00-13:00 and 16:00-17:00. Their different timing of foraging and resting mitigates the competition for food resources between the two species of geese, thus allowing their sympatry. In terms of habitat preference in space, the niche breadth of swan geese for selection of habitat and offshore distance was higher than that of white-fronted geese. The two species of geese overlapped quite much in niche of offshore distance. Swan geese preferred shallow water and mudflat, while white-fronted geese did swampy meadows. Both species preferred to have their habitats 400-500 m away from the shore. The differentiation of the two species of geese in habitat selection helps avoid the competition caused by the high niche overlapping in offshore distance, thus favoring their sympatry. The preference of the two species of geese to have their habitats located 400-500 m offshore enables them to escape human disturbance and have enough food resources for survival.

Key words: Anser cygnoide, Anser albifrons, coexistence, niche partition, Nanji Wetland

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