Biodiv Sci ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (1): 109-115.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2014128

• Methodology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effectiveness of line transects during wild animal surveys in mountain forests of South China

Yuan Tian1, Yongjun Feng1, Chunlan Zhang1, Baocheng Yu2, Xiaoping Tang2, Huijian Hu1,*()   

  1. 1 Guangdong Entomological Institute & South China Institute of Endangered Animals, Guangzhou 510260;
    2 Academy of Forest Inventory and Planning, State Forestry Administration, Beijing 100714
  • Received:2014-06-17 Accepted:2015-01-04 Online:2015-01-20 Published:2015-05-04
  • Contact: Huijian Hu


Line transect method is the first choice of the second terrestrial wild animal resources investigation, but has a great deal of problems in mountain forest of South China. Thus, we conducted a pilot project at Chebaling National Nature Reserve to test the survey effects of line transect method on the wild vertebrates of mountainous forest ecosystems in South China during April 19th-24th, 2010. We set 6 line transects (theoretical line transects) in the nature reserve with 3 km length at an area of 5×10 km 2, and recorded realistic line transects and calculated the sample tense and time with GPS tracks. There were two line transects did not reach 3 km during the investigation; the average time of each line-transect was 5.3±1.4 h, and the walking speed was less than 600 m/h; the detection probability of the general survey species was relatively low, and the proportion of recorded general survey species to all general survey species in the reserve (0.22) was less than that of recorded species to total species in the reserve (0.37). When the sample intensity reached 0.75%, the results can explain species diversity basically, but be limited to evaluate species richness in an area. Hence, we proposed: (1) It was feasible to set and record realistic line-transects with GPS track function; (2) the walking speed should be reduced from 2-3 km/h to 600 m/h, the length of each line transect should be 3-5 km, and 2 line transects can be scheduled in one day; (3) according to current finance and manpower, the sample tense of each species group should be slightly higher than 1.0% which was proper in the investigations areas; (4) more associated methods should be used to increase the detection probabilities of general survey species; (5) point count method and quadrat sampling method should be considered, but without the limit of sample tense at complex terrains.

Key words: mountainous regions in South China, line transect method, forest ecosystem, wild animal