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Using Weight Loss Method to Determine the Ages of Chinese Grouse Nests Found During the Egg Laying and Incubation Periods

Using Weight Loss Method to Determine the Ages of Chinese Grouse Nests Found During the Egg Laying and Incubation Periods

Jin-Ming Zhao1,2, Yun Fang2 and Yue-Hua Sun2*

1School of Life Science, Huaibei Normal University, Huaibei 235000, Peoples Republic of China
2Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, People’s Republic of China
 
* Corresponding author: sunyh@ioz.ac.cn

ABSTRACT

With a decreasing population trend, the endemic Chinese grouse (Tetrastes sewerzowi) is categorized as class I national protected animal species in China. Lower breeding performance has been suggested as a main factor influencing the population viability of Chinese grouse. Nest predation, which might be time-varied, is a main contributor to the nest failures of Chinese grouse. Therefore, it is urgent to estimate nest age of Chinese grouse accurately before taking appropriate conservation actions. In this study, we estimated the nest age of Chinese grouse using the weight loss method, which has been found to be easily been conducted and also has a high accuracy compared with other methods, such as egg candling and floating. Our results confirmed the conveniency and accuracy of the weight loss method in estimating nest ages of Chinese grouse. We further discussed some cautions when applying the weight loss method. We recommended investigators to use the weight loss method rather than the candling or egg floating methods to determine avian nest ages in future field studies.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

February

Vol. 55, Iss. 1, Pages 1-500

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