Nature reserve requirements for landscape-dependent ungulates: The case of endangered takin (Budorcas taxicolor) in Southwestern China
December 21, 2017
Journal or Book Title: Biological Conservation
Keywords: takin; giant panda; spatial effect; conservation planning; nature reserve; umbrella species
Page Number(s): 63-71
Year Published: 2015
Large ungulates commonly perform seasonal or annual movements that encompass considerable land area and various habitat types. Effective conservation of these species relies not only on insights on their basic ecology, but also an understanding on their requirements to move across landscapes. To determine the key landscape characteristics of the endangered takin (Budorcas taxicolor), we systematically surveyed for their occurrence in the Northern MinShan Mountains, China, during 2010–2011. We then modeled takin distribution at a regional scale using autologistic regression models, and produced a predictive map for their distribution. The results showed that occurrence probabilities for takin were higher in areas with a larger range of elevation, closer to protected areas, farther from townships, and with more forest coverage. There was a considerable overlap between highly suitable takin habitat and the network of protected forest formed by nature reserves originally established to conserve giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). A broad elevation gradient and the protected area network were essential landscape characteristics in predicting takin distributions and our results suggested that takin should be considered landscape- and conservation-dependent species. The results of this study are applicable to the conservation of large ungulates throughout the mountains bordering the Tibetan Plateau and to a broader suite of mammals that conduct seasonal migrations.
Type of Publication: Journal Article