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Mammalian Biology

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 13–20 | Cite as

Winter habitat of Mongolian gazelles in areas of southern Mongolia under new railroad construction: An estimation of interannual changes in suitable habitats

  • Takehiko Y. ItoEmail author
  • Yumi Sakamoto
  • Badamjav Lhagvasuren
  • Toshihiko Kinugasa
  • Masato Shinoda
Original investigation

Abstract

Environmental disturbances owing to human activity and habitat fragmentation are considered as threats to wildlife populations and migrations. The construction of railroads in southern Mongolia could lead to further habitat fragmentation that could disrupt the long-distance movement of ungulates such as the Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa). In this study, we used tracking and environmental data to construct habitat suitability maps for wintering Mongolian gazelles to analyze the spatiotemporal changes in habitats for regions that could be fragmented by the presence of new railroads. Habitat suitability in winter was high in areas with a short duration of snow cover and a high normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). We noted significant interannual variability in the spatial distribution of winter habitat suitability in the potentially fragmented area, which suggests a serious threat posed by railroad construction, although the tracked gazelles had not crossed the area of planned railroads during the entire one-year tracking period. Maintaining accessibility to habitat by creating enough accessible animal crossings over the new railroad area would be crucial for wild ungulate conservation in this region.

Keywords

Dryland Habitat fragmentation Maxent Migration NDVI 

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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takehiko Y. Ito
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yumi Sakamoto
    • 3
  • Badamjav Lhagvasuren
    • 4
  • Toshihiko Kinugasa
    • 3
  • Masato Shinoda
    • 5
  1. 1.Arid Land Research CenterTottori UniversityTottoriJapan
  2. 2.Organization for the Strategic Coordination of Research and Intellectual PropertiesMeiji UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural ScienceTottori UniversityTottoriJapan
  4. 4.Institute of General and Experimental BiologyMongolian Academy of SciencesUiaanbaatarMongolia
  5. 5.Graduate School of Environmental StudiesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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