Journal of Ecology and Rural Environment ›› 2022, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 319-326.doi: 10.19741/j.issn.1673-4831.2021.0480

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Spatio-temporal Dynamic and Habitat Selection of Galliformes in the Alpine Ecosystem: Case Study from Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan

YANG Nan1, WANG Bin2, CHENG Yue-hong3, ZHONG Xue2, FENG Xi3, HU Qiang3, JIN Yi-guo3   

  1. 1. Institute of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Southwest Minzu University, Chengdu 610041, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation(Ministry of Education), China West Normal University, Nanchong 637002, China;
    3. Wolong National Nature Reserve Administration Bureau, Wenchuan 623006, China
  • Received:2021-08-07 Online:2022-03-25 Published:2022-03-23

Abstract: Order Galliformes is one of the most threatened animal taxa worldwide. Despite the harsh environment and climate conditions, the alpine ecosystems of Hengduan Mountains support rich diversity of Galliformes. Understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of Galliformes in the alpine ecosystems and species' habitat selection is crucial for effective conservation. In this study, 109 infrared cameras were positioned at altitude from 3 500 m to 4 800 m, covering 72 grids (1 km×1 km) to monitor alpine Galliformes species in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province from May of 2019 to January of 2021. The monitoring involved effort of a total of 33 759 trap days. The results show that:(1) There were 9 Galliform species in alpine ecosystems, with high proportion of endemic and protected species, and Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii), snow partridge (Lerwa lerwa) and blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) dominated this community with higher relative abundances. (2) Both species richness and relative abundance of alpine Galliformes were greater in shrubs with the altitudinal range from 3 500 m to 4 000 m, while relative abundance of all the species were much higher during breeding seasons (from April to July) than during non-breeding seasons (from August to March). (3) Snow partridge select preferentially habitats at upper slopes, blood pheasant prefer shrubs with lower altitudes and avoided tundra, and Tibetan snowcock (Tetraogallus tibetanus) prefer higher altitude and tundra habitats while avoiding shrubs, while Chinese monal have no significant habitat preference. (4) Species richness and relative abundance were the highest in the monitored grids in Tizigou and Yinchanggou, indicating these areas are important areas for Galliformes species' distribution throughout the Wolong National Nature Reserve. Given remarkable conservation value of alpine Galliformes in Wolong National Nature Reserve. It is advised that:(1) to consider Chinese monal as a key conservation species in alpine ecosystems and focus on the protective management of shrubs at an elevation of 3 500-4 000 m, (2) to treat Tizigou and Yinchanggou as priority areas for regional Galliformes conservation.

Key words: Galliformes, infrared camera, community dynamic, relative abundance, habitat selection, Sichuan Wolong National Nature Reserve

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