Spatial and temporal activity patterns of Golden takin (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi) recorded by camera trapping



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Journal Article

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Bovidae, Capture rate, Kernel home range, National park, Seasonal migration, Wildlife behavior


Understanding animals' migration, distribution and activity patterns is vital for the development of effective conservation action plans; however, such data for many species are lacking. In this study, we used camera trapping to document the spatial and temporal activity patterns of golden takins (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi) in Changqing National Nature Reserve in the Qinling mountains, China, from April 2014 to October 2017. Our study obtained 3,323 independent detections (from a total of 12,351 detections) during a total camera trapping effort of 93,606 effective camera trap days at 573 sites. Results showed that: (1) the golden takin's utilization distributions showed seasonal variation, with larger utilization distributions during spring and autumn compared to summer and winter; (2) the species was recorded at the highest elevations in July, and lowest elevations in December, with the species moving to higher-elevations in summer, lower- elevations in spring and autumn; (3) during all four seasons, golden takins showed bimodal activity peaks at dawn and dusk, with activity intensity higher in the second peak than the first, and overall low levels of activity recorded from 20:00_06:00; and (4) there were two annual activity peaks, the first being in April and the second in November, with camera capture rate during these two months higher than in other months, and activity levels in spring and autumn higher than in summer and winter. This study is the first application of camera traps to assess the spatial and temporal activity patterns of golden takins at a population level. Our findings suggest that the proposed national park should be designed to include golden takin habitat and that ongoing consistent monitoring efforts will be crucial to mitigating novel and ongoing threats to the species.

Open Access