Habitat Selection of Red Deer ( Cervus elaphus ) and Roe Deer ( Capreolus capreolus ) in Winter in Logged and Unlogged Forest of the Wandashan Mountains, Heilongjiang|
ZHOU Shao-chun, ZHANG Ming-hai, WANG Shuang-ling
Habitat selection of red deer and roe deer was conducted an investigation in the Wandashan Mountains Heilongjiang Province during winter from 2003 to 2005, using transect censuses and stepwise discrimination analysis. The study area included logged and unlogged forest. We set systematic transect lines at intervals of more than 2 000 m. On each transect line large sample plots (10 m x 10 m) were set at 50 m intervals. Five small sample plots (2 m x 2 m) were set inside every larger plot. Vegetation type, food abundance, snow depth, slope degree, slope aspect, slope position, altitude, shelter class, canopy density, coverage, density, diameter at breast height (DBH), distance to human disturbance and water resource were recorded within each plot. The results revealed that there was significant difference in habitat selection between red deer and roe deer despite partly overlapping distributions. In logged forest, red deer tended to select shrub or miscellaneous tree forest on the middle or upper slopes position with sunny or semi-sunny aspect. They also preferred relatively higher altitude and abundant food that were made up of trees of smaller DBH and a higher density of shrubs. These habitats tended to be 1 000 m away from human disturbance. However roe deer preferred to live in miscellaneous tree or Mongolian Oak forest on the middle or lower slopes with a sunny aspect. They preferred relatively lower altitude and moderate food consisting of trees with larger DBH and shrubs of lower density. The roe deer was insensitive to human activities. By comparison, in the unlogged areas, the red deer selected miscellaneous tree forests with trees of relatively small DBH, relatively higher altitude and abundant food, which were 1 000 m away from human disturbance. Roe deer showed unobvious selection for distance from human activities. Polar and birch mixed forest were most often selected by roe deer.
Red deer (Cervus elaphus); Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus); Logged forest; Unlogged forest; Habitat selection; Wandashan Mountain