Summer habitat selection of alpine musk deer in Xinglongshan National Nature Reserve, Northwestern China|
Meng, Tong; Xiang-Wei, Wang; Shi-Xiu, Pan; Tan-Hong, An; Jin-Chao, Feng & Xiu-Xiang, Meng
During July and August from 2006 to 2008, summer habitat selection was studied in Alpine musk deer (Moschus sifanicus) in Xinglongshan National Natural Reserve in northwestern China. In total, seventy one musk deer utilized habitat plots and 246 random habitat plots were surveyed. Seventeen habitat characteristics were recorded and compared between the two habitat types, using Mann-Whitney U test and chi-square to compare the differences between utilized and random habitat plots, and principal component analysis (PCA) to determine the main factors influencing the habitat selection of musk deer. Mann-Whitney U test and chi-square was conducted to test whether there was significant difference between utilized and random plots. The results showed that musk deer prefers habitat with taller arbor height (7.57 ± 0.83 ) m, higher food-plants abundance (12.97 ± 1.80), increasing foliage cover for concealment, lower water dispersion, and higher anthropogenic disturbance. Furthermore, PCA results suggested that the arbor characteristics (arbor canopy and arbor DBH), altitude characteristic, food characteristics (ground-plant cover and food-plant abundance) and shrub characteristics (shrub canopy, shrub height and related arbor density) influence summer habitat selection patterns of alpine musk deer in Xinglongshan National Nature Reserve. The general pattern of summer habitat utilization and selection of alpine musk deer is an adaptive strategy to the changing food, concealment, water source and the physical condition of summer habitat.
Alpine musk deer (Moschus sifanicus); Xinglongshan National Nature Reserve; Summer; Habitat selection