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Home range and habitat use of Reeves's Pheasant Syrmaticus reevesii in the protected areas created from forest farms in the Dabie Mountains, central China

  • Ji-Liang Xu (a1), Zheng-Wang Zhang (a1), Guang-Mei Zheng (a1), Xiao-Hui Zhang (a1), Quan-Hui Sun (a1) and Philip McGowan (a2)...

Abstract

Many recently designated or expanded nature reserves in China were forest farms that ceased operations in the aftermath of the catastrophic Yangtze River floods of 1998. Although the vegetation in many of these areas has been altered significantly during forestry operations, there is now an opportunity to reduce, or even reverse, habitat loss for wildlife species that inhabit these forests. One such species is the globally threatened Reeves's Pheasant Syrmaticus reevesii that is endemic to the forested mountains of central and south-west China. From April 2000 to August 2003, the habitat use by 14 male Reeves's Pheasants was studied by radio-tracking at Dongzhai National Nature Reserve in the Dabie Mountains, central China. Conifer-broadleaf mixed forest was used preferentially in all seasons at the study area scale, as were mature fir plantations and shrubby vegetation. Moreover, young fir plantations were used preferentially during the breeding season at the scale of the home range. Surveys recorded the pheasant in 13 other protected areas in the Dabie Mountains, and indicated that broadly similar habitat types were available in all of them. Furthermore, Reeves's Pheasant were found in habitats similar to those used preferentially at Dongzhai National Nature Reserve. It seems likely that a mosaic of habitats is crucial to meet the various requirements of male Reeves's Pheasants throughout the year and management should therefore concentrate on maintaining this mosaic. It is now important to identify the habitats that produce the most young pheasants so that nesting and brood-rearing habitats can be clearly identified. Further studies on the habitat mosaic would be useful, both at a local scale and also at a larger, landscape scale.

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      Home range and habitat use of Reeves's Pheasant Syrmaticus reevesii in the protected areas created from forest farms in the Dabie Mountains, central China
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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence; e-mail: zzw@bnu.edu.cn

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** Present address: College of Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China. e-mail:

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