Biodiv Sci ›› 2004, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (3): 319-323.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2004038

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Effects of iron mine exploitation on the population of brown eared pheasant

ZHANG Guo-Gang1,2, ZHENG Guang-Mei1*, ZHANG Zheng-Wang1   

  1. 1 Ministry of Education key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering,College of Life Sciences,Beijing Normal University,Beijing 100875
    2 Research insitute of Forest Protection,Chinese Academy of Forestry,Beijing 100091
  • Received:2003-11-28 Revised:2004-04-13 Online:2004-05-20 Published:2004-05-20
  • Contact: ZHENG Guang-Mei

Abstract: . Brown eared pheasant, Crossoptilon mantchuricum, is a globally threatened species of pheasant that is native to China. Following research in 1997, effects of iron mine exploitation on this species were studied again in Wulushan Nature Reserve of Shanxi Province in the spring of 2000, aiming at further understanding the current status of habitats and population dynamics. Before exploitation, brown eared pheasants were observed in all three buffer zones, i.e. <50m, 50-100m, >100 m. Early after exploitation began, the species was not found in the <50m buffers, and there was a small decrease on number in the 50-100m buffers, and an increase in the >100 m buffers. The results indicate that iron mine exploitation caused brown eared pheasants in the <50 m and 50-100 m buffers to move to the >100m buffers. After 3 years, brown eared pheasants did not occur in either the <50 m or the 50-100m buffers. Compared with early after exploitation began, there was also a decrease in >100m buffers. At the beginning of exploitation, because there were few iron mines, the effects on activities of brown eared pheasants were not great and population density did not change markedly. However, with increase in the number of iron mines and longterm exploitation many feeding sites were damaged, and this, combined with the effect of noise and explosives from mining, restricted normal feeding activities directly. Consequently population density and ranging pattern changed greatly. The results indicate that iron mines are an important factor determining habitat use by brown eared pheasants. The species has not accommodated to habitat change caused by iron mine exploitation.