Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (9): 0-0.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020038


Construction progress of the Camera-trapping Network for the Mountains of Southwest China

Sheng Li1,William J.McShea2,Dajun Wang1,Xiaoli Shen3,Hongliang Bu1,Tianpei Guan4,Fang Wang5,Xiaodong Gu6,Xiaofeng Zhang7,Haohong Liao8   

  1. 1. School of Life Sciences, Peking University
    2. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
    3. State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    4. Ecological Security and Protection Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Mianyang Normal College
    5. School of Life Sciences, Fudan University
    6. Wildlife Conservation Division, Sichuan Forestry Department
    7. The Forestry Administration of Shaanxi Province
    8. The Nature Conservancy-China Program
  • Received:2020-02-09 Revised:2020-07-09 Online:2020-09-20 Published:2020-07-20
  • Contact: Sheng Li

Abstract: The Camera-trapping Network for the Mountains of Southwest China (SW China Network) is one of the regional camera-trapping networks in China. This network was first initiated by Peking University in 2002, and now include numerous partners from academic institutions, universities, conservation organizations, government agencies, and protected area administrations. Centered in the Mountains of Southwest China, one of the global biodiversity hotspots, the SW China Network spans across a vast area covering seven mountain ranges (i.e., Qinling, Minshan, Qionglai, Xiangling, Liangshan, Shaluli and Yunling Mountains) along the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Forty-one protected areas (e.g., nature reserves, community-managed protected areas, and timberlands, etc.) have joined the network, with each following a standardized survey protocol. Each protected area maintains its own camera-trapping database that is constructed using a common metadata structure. By December 2019, the SW China Network has generated approximately 3,025,900 camera-trapping images (excluding the empty images) at 5738 survey stations, with an extensive sampling effort of over 1,207,000 camera-days. An additional ~1,100,000 images are yet to be processed. We have recorded 63 wild mammal species (belonging to 7 orders and 21 families) and 182 wild bird species (belonging to 10 orders and 35 families), among which 16 are listed as Class-I, and 39 as Class-II National Key Protected Species. The network has three focuses in the near future: (1) construct online data platform based on common metadata structure, (2) provide training for reserve staff on camera data analysis to promote local capacity building, (3) provide supports for regional biodiversity conservation and protected area management, and (4) conduct wildlife ecology research on the interspecific relationship, community assembling mechanisms, and ecological roles of large carnivores.

Key words: Mountains of Southwest China, Great Hengduan Mountains, biodiversity monitoring, camera-trapping, protected area network, biodiversity infrastructure