Autumn bed site selection by sika deer (Cervus nippon) in the Taohongling National Nature Reserve, China

Abstract

To better understand the habitat requirements of sika deer in the Taohongling National Nature Reserve, transect lines were set out to collect data on bed sites used by sika deer during the autumn. The results showed that sika deer displayed a preference for bed sites with a moderate height of grass fallow and brush fallow, lower shrub density, higher herb density, lower canopy coverage, and higher undergrowth coverage. The bed sites were also characterized as being located on sunny slopes, gentle slopes, and upper slopes, with high elevation. In addition, most bed sites were located far away from human disturbance (more than 1000 m). A logistic regression analysis model indicated that undergrowth coverage, slope location, canopy coverage, and height of undergrowth were important factors that contributed to the difference between used and non-used plots. The habitat–animal relationship is one of the most important types of information, which could provide important references for the conservation and management of sika deer and their habitats in the Taohongling reserve.

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Correspondence to Y. K. Li.

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Li, J., Li, Y.K. & Liu, W.H. Autumn bed site selection by sika deer (Cervus nippon) in the Taohongling National Nature Reserve, China. Russ J Ecol 48, 384–391 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1067413617040105

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Keywords

  • Transect lines
  • Habitat selection
  • Bed sites
  • Management strategies