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Individual Identification Based on the Songs of the Emei Shan Liocichla (Liocichla omeiensis)

Individual Identification Based on the Songs of the Emei Shan Liocichla (Liocichla omeiensis)

Chiping Kong1,2, Yongheng Wu1,2, Shangling Lou1, Benping Chen3, Simon D. Dowell4 and Yiqiang Fu1*

1Sichuan Institute Key Laboratory for Protecting Endangered Birds in the Southwest Mountains, College of Life Science, Leshan Normal University, Leshan 614004, Sichuan Province, China
2College of Animal Science, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Urumqi, 830052, Xinjiang Province, China
3Laojunshan National Nature Reserve Administration, Pingshan 645350, Sichuan Province, China
4North of England Zoological Society, Chester Zoo, Upton by Chester, Chester CH1 1LH, UK

*      Corresponding author:



In some oscine birds, individually distinctive vocalisations are thought to be more pronounced allowing individual recognition based on songs. In this study, we explore individual identification in the songs of male Emei Shan Liocichla, a vulnerable babbler that inhabits dense vegetation. We recorded territorial songs of male Emei Shan Liocichla from Laojunshan National Nature Reserve during the breeding season of 2016, in southern Sichuan, China. We used three methods to compare the acoustic difference among and within individuals. The results demonstrated that male Emei Shan Liocichlas had individually distinct songs and can be used to identify individuals. We also found that 4 to 5 songs were relatively certain of an individual identity. Our findings indicated that individual distinctiveness by vocalisation was reliable in the Emei Shan Liocichla. Monitoring song therefore provides a potential method to follow individuals in the field and thus facilitate ecological research of this secretive species.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Vol. 52, Iss. 4, Pages 1225-1630


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