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Habitat use by giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in relation to roads in the Wanglang Nature Reserve, People’s Republic of China

Kang, Dongwei, Wang, Xiaorong, Yang, Hongwei, Duan, Lijuan, Li, Junqing
Canadian journal of zoology 2014 v.92 no.8 pp. 715-719
Ailuropoda melanoleuca, adverse effects, animals, bamboos, conservation areas, grazing, habitat preferences, people, road construction, roads, wildlife habitats, Taiwan
The impacts of roads on wildlife and their habitats have been widely recognized. To assess the effects of roads on habitat use of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca (David, 1869)), we investigated the giant panda habitats and the roadside habitats in Wanglang Nature Reserve, People’s Republic of China. We found that giant pandas did not use the road-affected habitats, and compared with giant panda habitats, road-affected habitats were characterized by lower bamboo density and grazing disturbances. Therefore, our study demonstrated that roads negatively affected the habitat use of giant pandas, and such affected habitats could not meet the needs of these animals. These results suggest that to minimize the negative effects of roads on the conservation of species, a full evaluation of the effects of roads on wildlife and their habitats should be conducted before road construction, and effective protection measures should be taken to control for these negative effects.