Biodiv Sci

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Habitat factors influencing the population density and flock size of brown eared pheasant

Guogang Zhang1,2, Guangmei Zheng1*, Zhengwang Zhang1, Jianrong Guo3, Jianping Wang3, Shulong Gong3   

  1. 1 Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2 Research Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
    3 Luyashan Nature Reserve, Ningwu, Shanxi 036007, China
  • Received:2004-09-13 Revised:2005-02-01 Online:2005-03-20 Published:2005-03-20
  • Contact: Guangmei Zheng


Brown eared pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) is a globally threatened species endemic to China. From 1998 to 2000, we studied the habitat factors influencing the wintering population density and flock size of the brown eared pheasant at two study sites in Luyashan Nature Reserve, Shanxi Province. The result showed that coniferous forests are suitable wintering habitat for brown eared pheasant, significant by χ2 test. Of the two sites studied, Chedaogou has larger area of coniferous forest, and better habitat connectivity for brown eared pheasant. In contrast, at Meidong, there are fewer feeding sites and shelters, resulting from more farmland and bare land. The results of one-way ANOVA analysis of microhabitat structure, combined with wintering habitat selection factors, indicate that canopy density and height of trees are the main factors influencing habitat selection by brown eared pheasants. In Chedaogou, tall trees and dense forests provide richer food, better roost sites and shelters, and thus attract more brown eared pheasants. The results suggest that habitat connection, microhabitat structure and human disturbance are the key factors influencing local population density and flock size of the brown eared pheasant.