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1 January 2018 Comparative analysis of winter diets and habitat use by the sympatric blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) and Alashan red deer (Cervus alashanicus) in the Helan Mountains, China
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Abstract
Research that elucidates the differences in the habitat use and diet of sympatric species is essential and meaningful for protection strategies. The habitat use and diet composition of blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) and Alashan red deer (Cervus alashanicus) in the Helan Mountains, China, were examined from November 2013 to February 2015. Despite the partial overlap in habitat, the habitat used by blue sheep and Alashan red deer were significantly different. Blue sheep preferred mountain woodland steppe with high degree of slope at farther distances from water resources and bare rock. Alashan red deer selected winter habitat in moutain grassland with flat slopes, closer water resources, further distances to human disturbances and bare rock. The diet of blue sheep was significantly different from that of Alashan red deer regarding the proportions of the forage categories. Blue sheep grazed primarily on shrubs (36.7 %) and grass (23.1 %), while the diet of Alashan red deer was dominated by shrubs (43.6 %) and trees (25.6 %). Contrary to Alashan red deer, blue sheep preferred to forage on herbaceous plants.
Zhensheng Liu, Zhaoling Zhu, Hui Gao, Chang Zhao, Yujiao Sun and Liwei Teng "Comparative analysis of winter diets and habitat use by the sympatric blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) and Alashan red deer (Cervus alashanicus) in the Helan Mountains, China," Folia Zoologica 67(1), (1 January 2018). https://doi.org/10.25225/fozo.v67.i2.a6.2018
Received: 18 March 2018; Accepted: 31 July 2018; Published: 1 January 2018
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