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Comparison of the bamboo-grazing behavior of giant pandas and livestock(PDF)

Chinese Journal of Applied & Environmental Biology[ISSN:1006-687X/CN:51-1482/Q]

2021 05
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Comparison of the bamboo-grazing behavior of giant pandas and livestock
ZHOU Shiqiang1 2 3 4 ZHANG Jindong5 6 Vanessa Hull7 HUANG Jinyan1 2 3 4 LIU Dian1 2 3 4 XIE Hao1 2 3 4 ZOU Xiaoyan8 & ZHANG Hemin1 2 3 4?
1 China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, Dujiangyan 611830, China 2 Key Laboratory of State Forestry and Grassland Administration on Conservation Biology for Rare Animals of the Giant Panda State Park, Dujiangyan 611830, China 3 Qionglai Mountains Conservation Biology of Endangered Wild Animals and Plants National Permanent Scientific Research Base, Dujiangyan 611830, China 4 Minshan Mountains Conservation Biology of Endangered Wild Animals and Plants National Permanent Scientific Research Base, Dujiangyan 611830, China 5 China West Normal University, Nanchong 637002, China 6 Key Laboratory of Southwest China Wildlife Resources Conservation of Ministry of Education, Nanchong 637002, China 7 Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611, USA 8 Wolong National Nature Reserve, Wenchuan 623006, China
giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) livestock foraging strategy feeding rate Wolong National Nature Reserve

This study analyzed the characteristics of the bamboo grazing behaviors (food selection, resource intake rate) of wild giant pandas and livestock in Wolong National Nature Reserve to reveal the ecological mechanism of the impact of grazing livestock on giant panda bamboo resources and habitats. The study was analyzed using data from line transect surveys and the sample plot method. The results showed that wild giant panda foraging strategy not only had seasonal migratory characteristics, but also that these animals chose to feed on different species, age classes, and organs of the bamboo plant. However, livestock fed only on bamboo resources in the free-range area, and the branches and leaves of bamboo forest were the main foraging targets. This led to the giant pandas and livestock having different bamboo resource feeding intensities. Statistics showed that the feeding rates of grazing livestock and wild giant pandas were significantly different (P < 0.001). This study shows that although livestock and giant pandas display foraging behaviors with regard to bamboo species, there are clear differences caused by how these groups select bamboo in certain age classes and prefer particular organs, but because livestock feed mainly on bamboo branches and leaves, the photosynthetic efficiency of the bamboo was affected. This in turn led to a decrease in the growth of the pandas’ staple food, which have a low natural regeneration ability and can even die dry, thereby severely reducing the quality of bamboo resources available. Therefore, prohibiting grazing of livestock in giant panda habitat is an important measure to effectively conserve this species. The adjustment of the industrial structure of rural communities could definitely become an effective way to coordinate the protection of nature and development of communities.


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Last Update: 2021-10-25