Biodiv Sci ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (4): 420-426.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2012.07231

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The quantitative assessing of trail impacts on giant panda activity based on field track points and GIS

Minghao Gong1,3*, Meng Hou1, Chen Lin1, Yanling Song2, Zhiyun Ouyang3   

  1. 1Academy of Forestry Inventory and Planning, State Forestry Administration, Beijing 100714

    2Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101

    3Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085
  • Received:2011-12-15 Revised:2012-04-25 Online:2012-07-20 Published:2012-09-12
  • Contact: Minghao Gong

Abstract: Trails have been shown to have impacts on wildlife, which may include injury, death, habitat hindrance, and then cause small population or population isolation and increase species extinction risk. Road effect zone was widely used to examine the wildlife responses to roads and trails, but had shortages in quantifying the changes of causative factors, and meeting the data requirements for habitat evaluation. In this research, we evaluated the impacts of trails on giant panda activity based on giant panda tracking data. The study sites were centered in Foping and Changqing natural reserves, and 1,042 giant panda tracking points were collected in association with three major trails. By aids of GIS, the distance of every track point to the trails was obtained, and then the amount and frequencies of track points every 20 m from trail were calculated. To identify the impact threshold of trails on giant panda activity, we established the testing points every 100 m from the trail for analysis of the activity frequency pattern. The results showed that within 1,000 m from the trails, the giant panda activity frequencies increased with the distance. The tracking point frequency showed significant changes at 500 meters and 1,000 meters from the trails, which represent impact threshold of trails on giant panda activity. The method based on track points and impact threshold can provide a more feasible and a quantitative evaluation for disturbances of trails and other infrastructure on wildlife activity.