Implementation of Topography Factors in Habitat Assessment and Spatial Carrying Capacity Estimation for Tibetan Fox|
Liu, Qun-xiu & Wang, Xiao-ming
Based on “Presence data”, we assessed the habitat quality according to the physical factor utilized by Tibetan fox in Gouli Township, Dulan County, Qinghai Province, China. The spatial carrying capacity of Tibetan fox was also estimated according to their minimum space requirements. A total of 4 topographical factors, elevation, slope, terrain ruggedness and slope position, were used to conduct habitat assessment for Tibetan fox. The suitability of habitat factors were determined by comparing the utilization by Tibetan fox and its availability based on 95% Bonferroni confidence interval. A comprehensive assessment criterion was set up for all topographic factors. For Tibetan fox, the elevations of 4 050 - 4 300 m, the slopes of 5 − 20°, the upper and lower slope positions were suitable habitat. Tibetan fox use terrain ruggedness non-selectively. According to the utilization of Tibetan fox on different topographic factors and the consistence of habitat utilization by different fox individuals, we set the comprehensive criterion as: Xi = (X2elevation x X2slope positionx Xslope x Xterrainrug gadness)1/6. The area of suitable habitat is about 17.4 km2, which take a percentage of 38.8% of research area. The area of most suitable habitat is only 0.4 km2. The home range of Tibetan fox ranges from 2.53 km2 to 4.99 km2, and the overlap index (OI) of different individuals were 0.16 − 0.66. The minimum space requirements of Tibetan fox are 2.09 − 3.55 km2, and the spatial carrying capacity of Tibetan fox in suitable habitat is 7−12. According to the habitat resource and monitoring results, we infer that the Tibetan fox population is keeping steady.
Tibetan fox; Habitat; Assessment criterion; Spatial carrying capacity