, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 675-681

Forage and bed sites characteristics of Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak ) in Hainan Island, China

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Microhabitat factors associated with forage and bed sites of Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak) were examined and compared in Hainan Island from 2001 to 2002. Habitat characteristics at forage and bed sites were measured by tracking five radio-collared adult muntjacs (three females, two males) and locating from fresh sign or muntjac flushed during transect surveys. Among six available habitat types, Indian muntjac preferred shrub grassland and thorny shrubland, and used dry savanna in proportion to its availability. Muntjac avoided woods, cultivated grassplot and deciduous monsoon forests. Comparing forage sites with bed sites, food availability was greater at forage sites. For bed sites, taller trees with larger canopies, taller shrubs, denser shrub canopy covers and concealment covers were essential factors. No seasonal difference (wet season vs. dry season) was found in food abundance at either forage sites or at bed sites. During the wet season, canopy closure for both types of sites was higher and at bed sites concealment cover was higher than during the dry season. Principal component analysis indicated that tree height, d.b.h. and maximum canopy diameters were important factors in habitat selection. The different microhabitat characteristics at forage and bed sites can be a clue to understanding the survival strategy of Indian muntjac, a small-bodied ungulate, in savanna woodlands.