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Thursday, August 9 • 3:00pm - 3:20pm
Space Use 2 Track: Determining The Impact Of Free-ranging Livestock On Tufted deer (Elaphodus Cephalophus) In Wanglang National Nature Reserve, SW China

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AUTHORS: Weichi Li, Sheng Li* – Peking University

ABSTRACT: During the past two decades, the dramatic increase in livestock that are freely dwelling in and around nature reserves has become to a major threat to protected areas across China [1-2]. Compared to wild ungulates, domestic animals were in general characterized by larger body size, higher density, less fear in behavior, higher foraging intensity, and more intensive disturbance [3-5]. Free-ranging livestock compete with wild ungulates for limited space and food resources, and greatly increase the risk of disease transmission. Overabundant livestock may also negatively impact seedling recruitment and alter the process of forest regeneration [6]. To examine the influence of free-ranging livestock on sympatric wild ungulates, we randomly selected 100 quadrats and conducted camera-trapping survey in the 25.2-ha Wanglang Alpine Conifer Forest Dynamics Plot, SW China, a natural habitat of the iconic giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), from 2013 to 2017. We recorded six wild ungulates and two livestock species with a sampling effort of 8220 camera-days. Three species with sufficient detections (N>200), including domestic horse (598 detections), cattle (454 detections) and tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus) (334 detections), were included in further analysis. Density estimation was used to evaluate the activity pattern of each species and calculate the temporal overlap between each species pair [7]. Time series analysis was used to describe the current and predict the future monthly active patterns of tufted deer [8]. The results showed that livestock were currently the dominant herbivores in this forest ecosystem. Tufted deer and horses utilized the plot throughout the year, whereas cattle occurred in the plot only during the growing season (May-September). The mean dwelling durations of domestic cattle (297s) and the horse (285s) at foraging site were both significantly longer than that of tufted deer (69s). Results of time serial regression indicated that livestock had a significant negative impact on the habitat use of tufted deer. When livestock, either horses or cattle, were present, tufted deer shifted their activity pattern accordingly to reduce temporal overlap. Our results indicated that tufted deer might use the strategy of temporal niche differentiations to reduce inter-specific competition with livestock, and therefore facilitate their co-existence. Our study provided preliminary data and valuable insights into the complicated interactions of free-ranging livestock and wild ungulates in the montane forest of SW China. The results will have further implications to protected area management and wildlife habitat conservation across the region and elsewhere.

3PM pdf

Thursday August 9, 2018 3:00pm - 3:20pm MDT
Assembly Hall B
  Space Use 2
  • Slides Available Yes

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