Seasonal resource selection of an arboreal habitat specialist in a human-dominated landscape: a case study using red panda

Bista, Damber and Baxter, Greg S. and Hudson, Nicholas J. and Murray, Peter J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1143-1706 (2022) Seasonal resource selection of an arboreal habitat specialist in a human-dominated landscape: a case study using red panda. Current Zoology. pp. 1-11. ISSN 1674-5507

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Abstract

Human-dominated landscapes provide heterogeneous wildlife habitat. Conservation of habitat specialists, like red pandas Ailurus fulgens, inhabiting such landscapes is challenging. Therefore, information on resource use across spatial and temporal scales could enable informed-decision making with better conservation outcomes. We aimed to examine the effect of geo-physical, vegetation, and disturbance variables on fine-scale habitat selection of red pandas in one such landscape. We equipped 10 red pandas with GPS collars in eastern Nepal in 2019 and monitored them for 1 year. Our analysis was based on a generalized-linear-mixed model. We found the combined effect of geo-physical, vegetation, and disturbance variables resulted in differences in resource selection of red pandas and that the degree of response to these variables varied across seasons. Human disturbances, especially road and cattle herding activities, affected habitat utilization throughout the year whereas other variables were important only during restricted periods. For instance, geo-physical variables were influential in the premating and cub-rearing seasons while vegetation variables were important in all seasons other than premating. Red pandas selected steeper slopes with high solar insolation in the premating season while they occupied elevated areas and preferred specific aspects in the cub-rearing season. Furthermore, the utilized areas had tall bamboo in the birthing and cub-rearing seasons while they also preferred diverse tree species and high shrub cover in the latter. Our study demonstrates the significance of season-specific management, suggests the importance of specific types of vegetation during biologically crucial periods, and emphasizes the necessity to minimize disturbances throughout the year.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agriculture and Environmental Science (1 Jan 2022 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2022 22:58
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 22:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ailurus fulgens, anthropogenic disturbances, habitat specialists, habitat utilization, resource use, spatio-temporal variation, vegetation
Fields of Research (2020): 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410407 Wildlife and habitat management
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310914 Vertebrate biology
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310904 Animal diet and nutrition
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310901 Animal behaviour
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180604 Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180603 Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/cz/zoac014
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/47525

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