Biodiv Sci


Camera-trapping survey of mammals and birds in the Gongga Mountain National Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China

Jiang Qiao1,2, Guoqing Jia3, Huaming Zhou3, Lin Gong4, Yong Jiang3, Nengwen Xiao5, Xiaoqi Gao5, Anxiang Wen2*, Jie Wang1*   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041

    2 College of Life Sciences, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya’an 625014

    3 Sichuan Gongga Mountain National Nature Reserve, Kangding 626000

    4 Sichuan Ganzi Daofu National Forest Management Bureau, Daofu 626499

    5 Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012

  • Received:2020-10-11 Revised:2021-01-24 Online:2021-07-20 Published:2021-03-13
  • Contact: Jie Wang


Aim: We aim to conduct species inventories of medium-sized and large mammals and ground-dwelling birds in the Gongga Mountain National Nature Reserve.

Methods: During 2011–2016, infrared camera traps were placed mainly in the western slope of the mountain range, where harbors the most abundant flagship animal species and has the least anthropic disturbance. Each two cameras had the least straight distance of 500 m. Relative abundance index was used to evaluate the comparative population size of different species, and specaccum function in Vegan package (R language) was used to analysis the increasing trend of detected species with camera working days.

Results: From the 4,093 independent photographs during 8,006 camera-days at 78 trapping sites, we identified 29 mammal and 66 bird species, which belonged to 14 families of 6 orders of mammals and 20 families of 8 orders of birds, respectively. Altogether 10 and 25 species are listed as the national first-class and second-class protected wild animals, respectively. Three, four, and ten species are listed, respectively, as Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), and Vulnerable (VU) in the Red List of China’s Vertebrates. According to the relative abundance index, the three most detected mammal species were the Blue-sheep Pseudois nayaur (77.44), Tufted deer Elaphodus cephalophus (67.32), and sambar Rusa unicolor (60.58); the three most detected avian species were the Tibetan snowcock Tetraogallus tibetanus (21.86), Blood pheasant Ithaginis cruentus (17.49), and Giant laughingthrush Garrulax maximus (8.87). Siberian rubythroat Luscinia calliope and White-winged redstart Phoenicurus erythrogastrus were recorded for the first time in the nature reserve.

Conclusions: Our inventory provided a basis for the wildlife conservation at the Gongga Mountain Nature Reserve. Continuous monitoring is required on the remaining apex predators and the threatened ungulate herbivores, including snow leopard Panthera uncia, leopard P. pardus, grey wolf Canis lupus, forest musk deer Moschus berezovskii, alpine musk deer M. chrysogaster, and sambar Rusa unicolor.

Key words: Gongga Mountain Nature Reserve, camera trapping, species inventory, large and medium-sized mammals, pheasants