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Spatio-temporal responses of male Reeves's pheasants Syrmaticus reevesii to forest edges in the Dabie Mountains, central China

Xu, Ji-Liang, Zhang, Zheng-Wang, Wang, Yong, Connelly, John W.
Wildlife biology 2011 v.17 no.1 pp. 16-24
agricultural land, conservation areas, edge effects, forest types, habitat fragmentation, habitat preferences, land cover, land use, landscapes, males, monitoring, mountains, pheasants, radio telemetry, shrubs, spring, summer, winter, China
We evaluated the response of male Reeves's pheasants Syrmaticus reevesii to different forest edges in a fragmented forest landscape in central China using radio-telemetry. Our fieldwork was carried out from April 2000 to August 2003 in the Dongzhai National Nature Reserve within the Dabie Mountains, China. We identified four major types of forest edges: shrub, farmland, road and residential edge. The association of male Reeves's pheasants with these edges was non-random and varied by season, suggesting that land-cover and land-use patterns surrounding forest fragments could have variable effects on habitat use of Reeves's pheasants. Shrub edges were preferred by males in all seasons and male Reeves's pheasant seldom moved > 200 m from this type of edge. Pheasants tended to avoid farmland edges in summer, stayed within 100 m of the nearest road edges in spring and moved farther from residential edges with season shifts. Furthermore, edge use by male Reeves's pheasants also differed between winter and the other three seasons. Our data demonstrated the relationships between edge effects and the spatial distribution patterns of Reeves's pheasants, and suggested that landscape configuration, including juxtaposition of forest and shrubby vegetation, should be incorporated into management and conservation for addressing edge effects at landscape scales. We suggest monitoring the spatial responses of this species to different forest edges over a longer term and at a larger landscape scale.