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Site-specific and seasonal variation in habitat use of Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) in western China: implications for conservation

Qiao-Yun Wang Kai-Dan Zheng Xue-Song Han Fang He Xiang Zhao Peng-Fei Fan Lu Zhang

Qiao-Yun Wang, Kai-Dan Zheng, Xue-Song Han, Fang He, Xiang Zhao, Peng-Fei Fan, Lu Zhang. Site-specific and seasonal variation in habitat use of Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) in western China: implications for conservation. Zoological Research, 2021, 42(6): 825-833. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.238
Citation: Qiao-Yun Wang, Kai-Dan Zheng, Xue-Song Han, Fang He, Xiang Zhao, Peng-Fei Fan, Lu Zhang. Site-specific and seasonal variation in habitat use of Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) in western China: implications for conservation. Zoological Research, 2021, 42(6): 825-833. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.238

中国西部欧亚水獭(Lutra lutra)的栖息地利用研究:对于保护工作的启示

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.238

Site-specific and seasonal variation in habitat use of Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) in western China: implications for conservation

Funds: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31900372), Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve, Yushu Prefecture Forestry and Grassland Bureau, “One Yangtze” Project of Huatai Securities (HTSC), and the State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol (Sun Yat-Sen University)
More Information
  • 摘要: 欧亚水獭(Lutra lutra)作为顶级捕食者,是健康淡水生态系统的指示物种和保护旗舰种。水獭曾经广泛分布于中国,而现今主要分布于西部大江大河的上游区域。对于本土水獭种群知识的欠缺不利于保护工作的开展。该研究中,我们在青海省玉树市和四川省唐家河国家级自然保护区开展了小尺度上水獭的栖息地利用研究。我们发现在两个地点水獭都偏向于在水边或水中高于水面50cm左右的大石头上排便。在玉树,市中心的5km河道在2个季节都未发现水獭粪便,水獭更偏向于在具有自然河岸和消落带,以及人口密度低的河段排便。然而在唐家河,由于河道改造和人为干扰程度较低,该利用模式并不明显。在玉树,水獭的河道利用强度在两个季节都与海拔和人口密度成反比。而在唐家河,水獭的河道利用强度在春季与猎物总重和流速成正比,与人口密度成反比,但在秋季与人口密度成正比,与流速成反比。我们的研究结果反映了水獭在不同环境下灵活的栖息地利用策略,强调了在不同区域和不同栖息地类型开展研究对水獭保护的必要性。我们的研究也为河道改造提供了建议,并呼吁开展更多小尺度的具体研究来提升中国的水獭保护。
  • Figure  1.  Location of rivers in Yushu (Qinghai Province) and Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve (Sichuan Province) where otter surveys were conducted Inset map in lower right corner illustrates division of surveyed rivers into 1 km sample units.

    Figure  2.  Distribution of sprainting sites in Yushu and Tangjiahe in two seasons

    Figure  3.  Comparisons of environmental variables between sprainting and control sites (mean±SE)

    **: Comparison significant at 0.01 level. N.S.: No significant difference.

    Figure  4.  Comparisons of prey survey results between seasons (mean±SE)

    **: Comparison significant at 0.01 level.

    Table  1.   Environmental variables applied for habitat use analysis of Eurasian otters in current study

    Variable groupVariable (unit)DescriptionData sourceAnalysis
    River characteristicsWater depth (cm)Depth of water 1 m from river bankTransect surveySprainting site selection & river use intensity
    Flow rate (m/s)Flow rate of water 1 m from river bank (measured by a Global Water FP111 current meter)Transect surveySprainting site selection & river use intensity
    Elevation (m)Vertical distance above sea levelhttps://www.91weitu.comSprainting site selection & river use intensity
    Riparian zoneTransitional zone between water and river bank, which may flood during rainy season but is dry at other times, usually without vegetation: 1 - with riparian zone; 0 - without riparian zoneTransect surveySprainting site selection & river use intensity
    Bank type1 - artificial bank, 0 - natural bank.Transect surveySprainting site selection & river use intensity
    Bank×riparian zone1 - artificial bank without riparian zone; 0 - other situationsTransect surveySprainting site selection
    Human disturbancePopulation density (indiv./ha)Human population densityhttps://www.worldpop.org/River use intensity
    Prey abundancePrey mass (g)Mass of all prey caught in fishing trapTransect surveyRiver use intensity
    Fish numberNumber of fish caught in fishing trapTransect surveyRiver use intensity
    Fish mass (g)Mass of fish caught in fishing trapTransect surveyRiver use intensity
    下载: 导出CSV

    Table  2.   Fish species captured by traps in Yushu and Tangjiahe

    SiteFamilySubfamilySpeciesAbundance springAbundance autumn
    YushuCyprinidaeCyprininaeCarassius auratus*20
    SchizothoracinaeSchizopygopsis spp.1 737934
    Ptychobarbus kaznakovi1807
    NoemacheilinaeTriplophysa spp.10330
    Lefua sp.10
    TangjiaheCyprinidaeGobioninaeBelligobio nummifer17230
    LeuciscinaePhoxinus spp.1 02264
    SchizothoracinaeSchizothorax spp.116139
    CobitidaeNoemacheilinaeHomatula spp.160
    SisoridaeEuchiloglanis davidi01
    *: Carassius auratus is an exotic species, which was released by local people due to religious beliefs.
    下载: 导出CSV

    Table  3.   Model-averaged coefficients (±SE) for environmental variables associated with number of otter sprainting sites per 1 km river section in Yushu

    VariableSpring (68 km)VariableAutumn (64 km)
    CoefficientSERelative importanceCoefficientSERelative importance
    (Intercept)19.3423.850(intercept)17.5934.156
    Elevation–0.0050.0011.00Elevation–0.0040.0011.00
    Population–0.0260.0160.57Population–0.0230.0160.51
    Water depth*0.0030.0090.25Water depth*0.0060.0120.26
    *: Variables were removed from final model due to a larger SE than coefficient.
    下载: 导出CSV

    Table  4.   Model-averaged coefficients (±SE) for environmental variables associated with number of otter sprainting sites per 1 km river section in Tangjiahe

    VariableSpring (30 km)VariableAutumn (50 km)
    CoefficientSERelative importanceCoefficientSERelative importance
    (Intercept)­1.5030.613(Intercept)2.4980.418
    Population–4.0621.4550.95Population0.4670.2460.78
    Prey mass0.0020.0010.35Flow rate–0.7450.6430.44
    Flow rate2.9212.5790.19Water depth*0.0020.0180.14
    Water depth*–0.0050.0190.06Natural bank*–0.3440.4590.06
    *: Variables were removed from final model due to a larger SE than coefficient.
    下载: 导出CSV
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  • 收稿日期:  2021-09-07
  • 录用日期:  2021-11-04
  • 网络出版日期:  2021-11-05
  • 刊出日期:  2021-11-18

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