Biodiversity Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (6): 758-763.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14182

Special Issue: On Species Catalogue of China

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Is nocturnal rhythm of Asian badger (Meles leucurus) caused by human activity? A case study in the eastern area of Qinghai Lake

Feng Li1, 2, Zhigang Jiang1()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2. The 4th Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212001
  • Received:2013-08-29 Accepted:2014-11-30 Online:2014-12-11

The Qinghai Lake area is the known highest place with Asian badger (Meles leucurus) distribution in the world. In order to test the hypothesis that human interference caused the nocturnal activity rhythm of badgers, we used infrared cameras in complementary of telemetry of radio collared two badgers to record activity rhythm of badgers at the entrances of their setts in the eastern shore of Qinghai Lake. We also estimated the population density and recorded the behaviors expressed by the badgers with infrared cameras and other conventional field investigations. The results showed: (1) through infrared camera records and sett density estimation, the average badger densities in this area were 1.2 ± 0.6 badgers/km2 and being influenced by food abundance. (2) the most common behavior expressed by badgers at sett entrances was vigilance behavior when badger emerged from the setts, followed by the play behavior when badgers returned to setts. (3) badgers mainly emerged from the setts between 20:00-23:00 and returned to the sett between 4:00-7:00 in the following morning. Their activity peak focused between 23:00-4:00. Human activity had no influence on the nocturnal activity rhythm of badgers.

Key words: infrared camera, Tibetan Plateau, vigilance, activity rhythm, badger

Fig. 1

Distribution of badger (Meles leucurus) in the study area on the eastern shore of the Qinghai Lake area, China"

Fig. 2

Behavior analysis of Asian badger at entrances of their setts in the eastern shore of Qinghai Lake area, China"

Fig. 3

Time distribution of badger emerging from a sett and returning to the sett in Qinghai Lake area, China"

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