Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (7): 796-805.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019394

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The relationship between the diurnal activity rhythm of Reeves’s pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) and human disturbance revealed by camera trapping

Jiangyan Shi1, Hai Yang2, Junqin Hua1, Yuze Zhao1, Jianqiang Li1, Jiliang Xu1,*()   

  1. 1 School of Ecology and Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083
    2 Liankangshan National Nature Reserve, Xinxian, Henan 465500
  • Received:2019-12-12 Accepted:2020-04-22 Online:2020-07-20 Published:2020-09-29
  • Contact: Jiliang Xu


As a rare species endemic to China, Reeves’s pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) is facing increasing pressure from human disturbance. To better understand how Reeves’s pheasant responds to human disturbances, we studied the pheasant’s diurnal activity rhythm in three areas in its eastern distribution region: Liankang Mountain National Nature Reserve in Henan (hereafter Liankang Mountain), Zhonghua Mountain Birds Provincial Nature Reserve in Hubei (hereafter Zhonghua Mountain), and Pingjingguan Village and Santan Scenic Area in Hubei (hereafter Pingjingguan). From March 2018 to April 2019, we used camera trapping to monitor both the diurnal activity rhythm of Reeves’s pheasant and the degree of human disturbance. We calculated the overlapping coefficient between anthropogenic and pheasant activity. The results indicated that Liankang Mountain had a more intense degree of human disturbance, while Zhonghua Mountain and Pingjingguan exhibited a similar intensity of human disturbance. Male Reeves’s pheasants’ diurnal activity rhythm was similar in all three experimental areas in both breeding and non-breeding seasons. Females’ diurnal activity rhythm during non-breeding season differed significantly between Zhonghua Mountain and Liankang Mountain, while it differed significantly in both breeding and non-breeding seasons between Pingjingguan and Liankang Mountain. The activity peak of Reeves’s pheasant differed from that of anthropogenic disturbance, implying staggered shifts in the pheasant’s activity pattern. Moreover, the overlap between Reeves’s pheasant and anthropogenic disturbance was lowest at Liankang Mountain. Our results demonstrated that the diurnal activity rhythm of Reeves’s pheasant exhibits a high plasticity in responding to anthropogenic disturbance. This species adjusts its activity rhythm to adapt the anthropogenic disturbance to a certain extent.

Key words: Reeves’s pheasant, diurnal activity rhythm, human disturbance, circular distributions, behavioral plasticity