Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (4): 401-408.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016246

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Habitat selection by roe deer (Capreolus pygargus) over winter in the Tieli Forestry Bureau of the Lesser Xing’an Mountains

Long Chen1,2, Yuehui Li1,*(), Yuanman Hu1, Zaiping Xiong1, Wen Wu1,2, Yue Li3, Qingchun Wen4   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Management, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 College of Environmental Sciences, Liaoning University, Shenyang 110036
    4 Environmental Monitoring Experiment Center of Liaoning Province, Shenyang 110161
  • Received:2016-09-02 Accepted:2017-04-11 Online:2017-04-20 Published:2017-04-20
  • Contact: Li Yuehui


Habitat selection by roe deer (Capreolus pygargus) was explored by using line-transect sampling in the Tieli Forestry Bureau of the Lesser Xing’an Mountains. A total of 22 line-transects, each of which was about 1.5 km long, were installed. Fifteen habitat factors were measured in 105 plots used by roe deer and 68 control plots, respectively, in November 2014, January and December 2015. Based on Bailey’s method analyzing the selectivity of roe deer using habitat factors, the result showed that in terms of topographic factors, roe deer preferred the habitats with altitude ≤ 300 m or ≥ 450 m, gradient > 4°or upper slope position; in terms of vegetation factors, roe deer preferred the farmland or coniferous forest, tree age ≤ 25 yr, canopy closure ≥ 0.6, number of trees ≤ 15, average tree height < 15 m, average DBH ≤ 10 cm, shrub coverage ≤ 0.3 or herbage coverage > 0.2; in terms of food factors, roe deer preferred much food abundance; and in terms of safety factors, roe deer preferred visibility > 50 m or snow depth ≤ 10 cm. The resource selection function revealed that the dominant factors influencing habitat selection by roe deer were aspect of slope, gradient, vegetation type, canopy closure, number of trees, average tree height and visibility. The roe deer in the Tieli Forestry Bureau preferred agriculture land and open habitat where they can quickly perceive danger and escape from other animals or humans. Those factors involving topography, vegetation, security predominantly determined their habitat selection. This research suggested protecting the roe deer population by constructing an optimal forest landscape pattern mixed with agriculture lands of a certain area percentage and spatial arrangement.

Key words: roe deer (Capreolus pygargus), Lesser Xing’, an Mountains, forest landscape, habitat selection, resource selection function, visibility