[获取全文请戳→Jiang, G., Qi, J., Wang, G., Shi, Q., Yury, D., Mark, H., et al. (2015). New hope for the survival of the amur leopard in china. Scientific Reports,5.]
Natural range loss limits the population growth of Asian big cats and may determine their survival. Over the past decade, we collected occurrence data of the critically endangered Amur leopard worldwide and developed a distribution model of the leopard’s historical range in northeastern China over the past decade. We were interested to explore how much current range area exists, learn what factors limit their spatial distribution, determine the population size and estimate the extent of potential habitat. Our results identify 48,252 km2 of current range and 21,173.7 km2 of suitable habitat patches and these patches may support 195.1 individuals. We found that prey presence drives leopard distribution, that leopard density exhibits a negative response to tiger occurrence and that the largest habitat patch connects with 5,200 km2of Russian current range. These insights provide a deeper understanding of the means by which endangered predators might be saved and survival prospects for the Amur leopard not only in China, but also through imperative conservation cooperation internationally.
2、应用自动相机技术评估了东北豹种群数量和密度分布，发现研究区域东北豹密度约为0.62只/ km2，种群数量约为16.58只，发现不仅猎物种类构成和猎物生物量，而且植被和人为干扰也会对东北豹种群分布产生重要影响。该成果发表在Biological Conservation。
[获取全文请戳→Qi, J., Shi, Q., Wang, G., Li, Z., Sun, Q., Hua, Y., et al. (2015). Spatial distribution drivers of amur leopard density in northeast china.Biological Conservation, 191, 258-265.]
The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is highly elusive, rare species, critically threatened with extinction worldwide. In this study, we conducted camera-trap surveys of an Amur leopard population in Jilin Province, northeast China. We estimated population abundance and density distribution, and explored the effects of prey population densities and biomass of prey, habitat and anthropogenic factors on the spatial distribution of Amur leopard density. Our results suggested that Amur leopard density was 0.62 individuals/100 km2 and 16.58 individuals might live within the study area. The spatial distribution of Amur leopard density exhibited different responses to the population densities of different prey species. We found that two ecological thresholds existed in maximum responses of Amur leopard distribution to elevation and prey biomass. Vegetation and anthropogenic factors also showed significant effects on leopard population distribution. In general, there was a combination of habitat factors including, not only prey assembly and biomass, but also vegetation, anthropogenic and geographical factors driving the spatial distribution of Amur leopard population. These insights informed us that comprehensive adaptive landscape and prey conservation strategies should be conducted for saving this critically endangered predator.
[获取全文请戳→Jiang, G., Sun, H., Lang, J., Yang, L., Li, C., Lyet, A., et al. (2014). Effects of environmental and anthropogenic drivers on amur tiger distribution in northeastern china. Ecological Research, 29(5), 801-813.]
We examined environmental and anthropogenic factors drive range loss in large mammals, using presence data of Amur tigers opportunistically collected between 2000 and 2012, and anthropogenic and environmental variables to model the distribution of the Amur tiger in northeastern China. Our results suggested that population distribution models of different subregions showed different habitat factors determining tiger population distribution patterns. Where farmland cover was over 50 km2 per pixel (196 km2), distance was within 15 km to the railway in Changbaishan and road density (length per pixel) increased in Wandashan, the relative probability of Amur tiger occurrence exhibited monotonic avoidance responses; however, where distance was within 150 km of the Sino-Russia border, the occurrence probability of Amur tiger was relatively high. We analyzed the avoidance or preference responses of Amur tiger distribution to elevation, snow depth and Viewshed. Furthermore, different subregional models detected a variety of spatial autocorrelation distances due to different population clustering patterns. We found that spatial models significantly improved model fits for non-spatial models and made more robust habitat suitability predictions than that of non-spatial models. Consequently, these findings provide useful guidance for habitat conservation and management.
[获取全文请戳→Jiang, G. (2014). New evidence of wild amur tigers and leopards breeding in china. Oryx, 48.]
On 15 November 2013 CCTV news reported that pug-marks of a wild adult female Amur tiger Panthera tigris altaica and three kittens had been found in the Hunchun forest department of Jilin Province in north-east China. The front pad widths of the adult were 9.0–9.3 cm and those of the kittens were 6.0–6.2 cm. Experts have examined the details of the pug-marks and tracks and have confirmed the presence of a female and kittens. From the size of the pugmarks it is estimated the kittens were 4–5 months old. It is particularly notable that this record was outside Hunchun Nature Reserve, .20 km away from the Sino–Russian border. In recent years camera-traps have recorded adult Amur tigers in this area and local people have reported sightings of Amur tiger pug-marks and/or loss of livestock. Historically, the Endangered Amur tiger was distributed across most of the forested montane areas of north-east China. It has been argued that this subspecies originated in China (The World’s Cat (1976), 1–14) and this has been partially confirmed by a genetic study (PLoS Biology (2004), 2(12), e442). It is estimated that in the mid 20th century there were 150 Amur tigers in China and 30–40 in Russia. However, until now, it was presumed that the c. 20 extant Amur tigers in China were migrants from the Russian far east and that it was unlikely any were resident breeding females. There is also new evidence of the Critically Endangered Amur leopard Panthera pardus orientalis in this area. In October 2013 CCTV news reported a video recording of a female Amur leopard and two kittens walking past a video trap in the Jilin Wangqing Nature Reserve. Based on the kittens’ body size it is estimated they were 5 months old and thus still lactating. As the area of Wangqing Nature Reserve is 600 km2 it is most likely that this family is part of a resident population rather than being migrant. Russian wildlife biologists reported that only c. 50 extant Amur leopards were known in the Russian far east in 2012. Only 7–12 were believed to be present in China in 2000, although this estimate was derived from data collected during a survey for the Amur tiger. Given these recent sightings and sign observations we believe the future outlook for these two subspecies in China is improving. In 2011 WWF–China initiated a prey recovery project in north-east China and introduced SMART technology (Integrative Zoology (2010), 5, 363–377) for patrolling. These measures will ensure improved habitat conditions and more effective protection for both species. The Feline Research Center of the Chinese State Forestry Administration has initiated camera-trap monitoring for both species, DNA analysis of faecal samples, and a new pug-mark identification technique in collaboration with Wildtrack. The Chinese State Forestry Administration is now consulting with experts to develop a Chinese Big Cat Conservation Action Plan to ensure the continued protection of the Amur tiger and leopard in China.
[获取全文请戳→Gu, J., Guo, Y., Stott, P., Jiang, G., Ma, J. (2015). A comparison of reproductive parameters of female amur tigers (panthera tigris altaica temminck, 1844) in the wild and captivity. Integrative Zoology.]
A healthy population of captive Amur tigers might assist recovery of the wild population in Northeast China if individuals were properly prepared and considered suitable for release in the wild. We analyzed the breeding records of 68 female Amur tigers from 1995 to 2010 in the Hengdaohezi Felid Breeding Center of China and compared the reproductive parameters of this population to wild female Amur tigers. We found that the reproductive parameters of the captive population (the age of first parturition, length of gestation and litter survival rate) were not significantly different from those of wild Amur tigers. Differences in birth date and litter size between wild and captive populations may be caused by management protocols for the captive population or insufficient field data from the wild population. Reproductive parameters of females giving birth after losing a litter were similar to parameters of females that did not lose a litter, except for birth date. These results provide no indication of major problems in using captive females for a breeding program for release of cubs into the wild, but additional information is still needed to assess their suitability.
6、与Wildtrack、美国杜克大学、东北虎林园等合作，采集了40只圈养东北虎的足迹数码照片建立了FIT数据库用于东北虎性别判定，准确率达到98%以上，并使用该技术鉴别了从野外采集到的8条东北虎足迹链，发现其中2条来自雌虎而另外3条来自雄虎。该研究成果发表于Wildlife Society Bulletin。
[获取全文请戳→Jiayin Gu , Alibhai, S. K., Jewell, Z. C., Jiang, G., Ma, J. (2014). Sex determination of amur tigers (panthera tigris altaica ) from footprints in snow. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 38(3), 495–502.]
The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) population in China, once widespread, is now reduced to an estimated 20 individuals widely dispersed over a large area. The Chinese government is making concerted efforts to restore this population from the contiguous Russian population. However, they face a challenge in finding an effective monitoring technique. We report on the development of a robust, noninvasive and cost-effective technique to identify the sex of Amur tigers from snow footprints. Between December 2011 and December 2012, we collected 523 digital images of left-hind footprints from 40 known captive Amur tigers (19 F, 21 M), of age range 3–13 years (F mean age=8.07±0.18, M mean age=8.36±0.19; F=1.18, P>0.05). Images were captured with compact digital cameras according to a standardized photographic protocol (Alibhai et al. 2008). Using JMP software from the SAS Institute, 128 measurements were taken from each footprint according to the protocol developed by Alibhai et al. (2008), and were subjected to a stepwise selection. With just 10 variables, and testing with both Jackknifing and 50% holdout methods, the resulting algorithm for sex determination gave 98% accuracy for individual footprints. The algorithm derived from captive tiger footprints of known sex was then used to identify the sex of 83 footprints from 8 trails collected from unknown free-ranging Amur tigers in the winter from the end of 2011 to the beginning of 2012. The algorithm predicted 5 trails from females and 3 from males. This technique is a potentially valuable tool for monitoring the recovery of Amur tiger populations at the landscape scale in northeastern China.