Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (6): 638-647.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019070

• Original Papers:Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Coat pattern variation and activity rhythm of Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) in Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Nature Reserve of Tibet, China

Wang Yuan1,Li Sheng2,Liu Wulin1,*(),Zhu Xuelin1,Li Bingzhang1   

  1. 1 Forestry Inventory and Planning Institute of Tibet Autonomous Region, Lhasa 850000
    2 School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
  • Received:2019-03-11 Accepted:2019-05-27 Online:2019-06-20 Published:2019-06-20
  • Contact: Liu Wulin


From 2013 to 2018 we conducted camera-trapping surveys on the elusive Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) in Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Nature Reserve, Tibet. With an extensive survey effort of 14,071 camera-days at 70 camera stations, we obtained 101 independent detections of Asiatic golden cat, of which 60 (59.4%) were captured during day time and used to identify the coat markings of each captured individual. Four types of coat variations were detected and defined. The capture rates were: 46 common form, 7 red form, 4 melanistic form, and 3 gray form. The gray form was the first ever record in China. Results indicate that individuals of different forms could be co-existing and southeast Tibet has the most diverse coat variations of Asiatic golden cat in China. We described the morphological characteristics shared among and between the different forms, which will provide a sound foundation for further research on this species. The Asiatic golden cats in the study area showed a diurnal activity rhythm with the highest activity peak between 10:00 and 12:00. There were significant differences in daily-discrepancy index α and diurnal-nocturnal index β in different months and the activity intensity and peak patterns had obvious seasonal changes. This study has accumulated basic data for wildlife inventory of the East Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, and also provided basic information and reference for subsequent research on the mechanisms determining coat variations of felid species.

Key words: Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii), camera-trapping, Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Nature Reserve, activity rhythm