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Home Range Characteristics of the Released Female Milu (Père David’s Deer, Elaphurus davidianus) Population during Different Periods and Effects of Water Submersion in Dongting Lake, China

Home Range Characteristics of the Released Female Milu (Père David’s Deer, Elaphurus davidianus) Population during Different Periods and Effects of Water Submersion in Dongting Lake, China

Shuangye Wang1,2, Yunlin Zhao1,2, Zhenggang Xu2,3,*, Junzhi Chen3, Guiyan Yang3, Song Wang2 and Kangkang Jiang2

 

1College of Resources & Environment, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
2Engineering Research Center for Internet of Animals, Central South University of Forestry and Technology, Changsha 410000, China
3Key Laboratory of National Forestry and Grassland Administration on Management of Western Forest Bio-Disaster, College of Forestry,, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, 712100, China
 
* Corresponding author: xuzhenggang@nwafu.edu.cn

ABSTRACT

To understand home range characteristics and distribution of the released female milu (Père David’s deer, Elaphurus davidianus) population at Dongting Lake, China, we estimated home range size using the 95% minimum convex polygon method. A maximum flooded time index was calculated and the overlay analysis with seasonal home range data was employed. The results showed: (1) in seasons, the home range size of winter was the largest while it was the smallest in summer. It was also found that home range of dry and wet periods in 2017 was larger than in 2016 for the same period; (2) The milu population lived together in the released area. They even moved to outside of Dongting Lake in summer and moved back in autumn with the water level change. The milu population separated into several groups during the movement process; (3) By combining home range and the maximum flooded time index map, the milu population habitat covered various types of land use and active area when water source was included. While managing the two types of land use these should be connected by vegetation and should not be too far apart. In general, the home range distribution and size changed with the changing periods i.e. dry period and wet period. Available space, food resources, and shelter were influenced by water level variation in Dongting Lake, and water level may be the main factor affecting the distribution and home range size of milu population, indirectly utilizing the habitat.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

August

Vol. 54, Iss. 4, Pages 1501-2001

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