Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Use of camera traps as a means for mapping distribution and inferring movement in a fragmented landscape (#674)

William McShea 1 , Fang Wang 2 , Sheng Li 3 , Dajun Wang 3
  1. Smithsonian Institution, Front Royal, Virginia, United States of America
  2. Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan, United States of America
  3. Peking University, Beijing, Peoples Republic of China

We examined the large mammal community in Qinling Mountains of central China and used camera trapping data, and data layers for the human and environmental landscape, to construct species occupancy models for giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and six other sympatric species (takin Budorcas taxicolor, tufted deer Elaphodus cephalophus, Chinese goral Naemorhedus griseus, Reeve’s muntjac Muntiacus reevesi, leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis, and yellow-throated marten Martes flavigula). We then constructed circuit models to identify potential corridors for each species, and evaluated the effectiveness of giant panda corridors to restore the habitat connectivity for these sympatric mammals. Occupancy modeling identified the unique set of environmental variables associated with each species. We found that giant panda and all other focal species had some degree of fragmentation to their suitable habitat that required habitat corridors. Among the eight potential giant panda corridors, conservation efforts on reducing anthropogenic impacts would significantly improve the effectiveness of six corridors, while the other two corridors would require extensive topographic and vegetative alterations for improvement. The five proposed giant panda corridors had remarkable overlap with corridors proposed for other species. We suggest two giant panda corridors as a priority due to their ability to maximize the benefits to both giant panda and a broader suite of wildlife. Corridor planning in this region of China will likely continue to use the single species policy for the foreseeable future and our results highlight that not all potential giant panda corridors have equal effectiveness for other wildlife species