DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14182

Biodiversity Science (生物多样性) 2014/22:6 PP.758-763

Is nocturnal rhythm of Asian badger ( Meles leucurus) caused by human activity? A case study in the eastern area of Qinghai Lake

The Qinghai Lake area is the known highest place with Asian badger (Meles leucurus) distribution in the world. In order to test the hypothesis that human interference caused the nocturnal activity rhythm of badgers, we used infrared cameras in complementary of telemetry of radio collared two badgers to record activity rhythm of badgers at the entrances of their setts in the eastern shore of Qinghai Lake. We also estimated the population density and recorded the behaviors expressed by the badgers with infrared cameras and other conventional field investigations. The results showed: (1) through infrared camera records and sett density estimation, the average badger densities in this area were 1.2 ± 0.6 badgers/km2 and being influenced by food abundance. (2) the most common behavior expressed by badgers at sett entrances was vigilance behavior when badger emerged from the setts, followed by the play behavior when badgers returned to setts. (3) badgers mainly emerged from the setts between 20:00–23:00 and returned to the sett between 4:00–7:00 in the following morning. Their activity peak focused between 23:00–4:00. Human activity had no influence on the nocturnal activity rhythm of badgers.

Key words:infrared camera,Tibetan Plateau,vigilance,activity rhythm,badger

ReleaseDate:2015-03-10 09:14:42

Do Linh San E, Ferrari N, Weber JM (2003) The badger (Meles meles L.) in the Swiss Jura: trapping success, demographic parameters and ectoparasites. Revue suisse de Zoologie, 110, 565-580.

Feng ZJ (冯祚建) (1986) Mammals in Tibet (西藏哺乳动物). Science Press. Beijing. (in Chinese)

Goszczynski J, Jedrzejewska B, Jedrzejewski W (2000) Diet composition of badgers (Meles meles) in a pristine forest and rural habitats of Poland compared to other European populations. Journal of Zoology, 250, 495-505.

Harris S (1982) Activity patterns and habitat utilization of badgers (Meles meles) in suburban Bristol: a radio tracking study. Symposia of the Zoological Society of London. 49, 301-323.

Henner CM, Chamberlain MJ, Leopold BD, Burger LW (2004) A multi-resolution assessment of raccoon den selection. Journal of Wildlife Management, 68, 179-187.

Jiang ZG (蒋志刚) (2004) Przewalski's Gazelle (中国普氏原羚). China Forestry Publishing House. Beijing. (in Chinese)

Kowalczyk R, Bunevich AN, Jedrzejewska B (2000) Badger density and distribution of setts in Bialowieza Primeval Forest (Poland and Belarus) compared to other Eurasian populations. Acta Theriologica, 46, 395-408.

Kowalczyk R, Zalewski A, Jedrzejewska B, Jedrzejewski W (2003) Spatial organization and demography of badgers (Meles meles) in Bialowieza Primeval Forest, Poland, and the influence of earthworms on badger densities in Europe. Canadian Journal of Zoology (Revue Canadienne De Zoo-logie), 81, 74-87.

Kruuk H, Parish T (1981) Feeding specialization of the Euro-pean badger (Meles meles) in Scotland. Journal of Animal Ecology, 50, 773-788.

Lara-Romero C, Virgóes E, Revilla E (2011) Sett density as an estimator of population density in the European badger Meles meles. Mammal Review, 42, 78-84.

Li CW, Jiang ZG, Ping XG, Cai J, You ZQ, Li CQ, Wu YL (2012) Current status and conservation of the endangered Przewalski's gazelle (Procapra przewalskii), endemic to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. Oryx, 46, 145-153.

Li F, Luo Z, Li C, Li C, Jiang Z (2013) Biogeographical patterns of the diet of Palearctic badger: is badger an earthworm specialist predator? Chinese Science Bulletin, 58, 2255-2261.

Martin R, Rodriguez A, Delibes M (1995) Local feeding spe-cialization by badgers (Meles meles) in a Mediterranean en-vironment. Oecologia, 101, 45-50.

Neal EG (1986) The Natural History of Badgers. Croom Helm, London.

Ni SX (倪绍祥) (2002) Monitoring and Prediction of Grass-hopper Around Qinghai Lake District (环青海湖地区草地蝗虫遥感监测与预测). Shanghai Science and Technology Press, Shanghai. (in Chinese)

Pan QH (潘清华),Wang YX (王应祥), Yan K (岩崑) (2007) A Field Guide to the Mammals of China (中国哺乳动物彩色图鉴). China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing. (in Chi-nese)

Remonti L, Balestrieri A, Prigioni C (2006) Factors determining badger Meles meles sett location in agricultural ecosystems of NW Italy. Folia Zoologica, 55, 19-28.

Revilla E, Palomares F, Delibes M (2001) Edge-core effects and the effectiveness of traditional reserves in conservation: Eurasian badgers in Donana National Park. Conservation Biology, 15, 148-158.

Rodriguez A, Delibes M (1992) Food-habits of badgers (Meles meles) in an arid habitat. Journal of Zoology, 227, 347-350.

Rodriguez A, Martin R, Delibes M (1996) Space use and activity in a mediterranean population of badgers Meles Meles. Acta Theriologica 41, 59-72.

Roper TJ. (1994) The European badger Meles meles—food specialist or generalist. Journal of Zoology, 234, 437-452.

Rowcliffe JM, Field J. Turvey ST, Carbone C (2008) Estimating animal density using camera traps without the need for individual recognition. Journal of Applied Ecology 45, 1228-1236.

State Forestry Administration, PRC (2000) Checklist of State Protected Beneficial Wild Animals or Wild Animals of Im-portant Economic and Scientific Values (国家保护的有益的或者有重要经济, 科学研究价值的陆生野生动物名录). Decree No. 7. content-459921.html. (in Chinese)

Stewart P, Ellwood DSA, MacDonald DW (1997) Remote video-surveillance of wildlife—an introduction from expe-rience with the European badger (Meles meles). Mammal Review, 27, 185-204.

Virgos E, Casanovas JG (1999) Environmental constraints at the edge of a species distribution, the Eurasian badger (Meles meles L.): a biogeographic approach. Journal of Biogeography, 26, 559-564.

Wilson DE, Reeder DM (2005) Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. 3rd edn. Smithso-nian Institution Press, Washington D.C. and London.

Xie ZG (谢志刚) (2011) Ecological Studies of Badger (Meles meles) in Shanghai (上海地区狗獾生态学研究). East China Normal University, Shanghai. (in Chinese)

Zhang RZ (张荣祖) (1997) Distribution of Mammalian Species in China (中国哺乳动物分布). China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing. (in Chinese).