Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (6): 630-637.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019122

• Original Papers:Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impact of livestock terrain utilization patterns on wildlife: A case study of Wanglang National Nature Reserve

Chen Xing1,Zhao Lianjun2,Hu Xixi1,Luo Chunping2,Liang Chunping2,Jiang Shiwei2,Liang Lei1,Zheng Weichao3,*(),Guan Tianpei1,*()   

  1. 1 Ecological Security and Protection Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Mianyang Teachers’ College, Mianyang, Sichuan 621000
    2 Wanglang National Nature Reserve, Pingwu, Sichuan 622550
    3 Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve, Qingchuan, Sichuan 628100
  • Received:2019-04-09 Accepted:2019-06-14 Online:2019-06-20 Published:2019-06-20
  • Contact: Zheng Weichao,Guan Tianpei

Abstract:

Terrain use is a fundamental factor of wildlife habitat and is closely related to other environmental factors. To assess the impact of cattle and horse on wildlife, we conducted field surveys in Wanglang National Nature Reserve and analyzed terrain preferences. We also deployed infrared cameras and historical biodiversity data to evaluate the risk of disturbance to key protected species based on altitudinal distribution of livestock. Results showed: (1) Both horse and cattle preferred low altitude habitats with low slopes, close to water with half to full sun aspects. However, there was also significant differences in terrain use between these two domestic animals. (2) The areas with the most frequent disturbance by livestock in the Wanglang Nature Reserve were Youyizhigou and Zhenggou in Zhugencha, and Yangdonggou in Dawodang. (3) Based on historical data, takin (Budorcas taxicolor tibetana) is likely the most influenced wildlife species, as the degree of overlap with livestock along altitudinal gradients is very high. Infrared camera data showed that areas frequented by livestock had fewer takin individuals recorded, indicating a negative relationship due to co-existence. Based on our findings, we suggest, (1) nature reserve should focus livestock in two core areas of Zhugencha (Youyizhigou, Zhenggou and Baishagou) and Dawodang (Yangdonggou and Waicepo) by monitoring the population and distribution of livestock in these areas; (2) they should prohibit the dispersal and distribution of livestock towards higher elevations; (3) the frequency with which local herdsman feed livestock salt needs to be controlled; (4) the strength of law enforcement towards illegal herds should be elevated.

Key words: elevation, habitat, grazing, Southwest of China, giant panda, national park