, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 141-147
Date: 06 Jul 2008

Habitat suitability change of red-crowned crane in Yellow River Delta Nature Reserve

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Abstract

Habitat loss and fragmentation are mainly associated with population decrease of endangered species and biodiversity loss. The habitat suitability maps of red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) in 1992, 1999 and 2006 were produced by using Ecological Niche Suitability Model (ENSM) in Yellow River Delta Nature Reserve (118°33′-119°20′E longitude, 37°35′-38°12′N latitude), Shandong Province, China. Based on the habitat suitability maps, the causation and change law of habitat loss and fragmentation of red-crowned crane were analyzed by selecting a series of landscape pattern indices. Results showed that due to scarcities of fresh water sources, habitat suitability of red-crowned crane in 1999 was inferior to that in 1992 and 2006 no matter whether human disturbances existed or not. Besides, human disturbance activities, especially road disturbances, increased rapidly during the period of 1992–2006. This worsened the habitat loss and fragmentation of red-crowned crane, and led to degrading habitat suitability of red-crowned crane in 2006, compared with that in 1992. In conclusion, fresh water sources and human disturbance activities are the two main factors that drive the habitat suitability change of red-crowned crane.

Foundation project: the research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation (No. 40771172) and Knowledge innovation project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. kzcx2-yw-308).