In order to investigate the feasibility of reintroducing the South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) in the Jiangxi Matoushan National Nature Reserve, field surveys were conducted to assess prey distribution in the reserve. Twelve permanent transects were set in three distinct functional zones from February to April 2012 and May to July 2013. A total of 112 ungulate signs were recorded on these transects. In addition, 20 camera traps were used to survey ungulates and predators in 2012, while the following year we extended the survey site by using 30 cameras. Overall, 6641 capture events on 2930 camera days were obtained, presenting a variety of ungulate species: muntjak (Muntiacus muntjak), tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus), serow (Capricornis sumatraensis) and wild boar (Sus scrofa). Population structure and composition of ungulates was compared in different functional zones using a single factor of variance analysis in SPSS software. Significant differences in the distribution of ungulates were recognized between the core zone and experimental zone, but not in other zones due to differences in habitat types and management practices of the nature reserve. Using ArcGIS analysis and Salford Predictive Modeler software, we ran several predictive models to understand which areas are most suitable for ungulates. We conclude that muntjac and wild boar are mainly distributed in the experimental zone, serow are more common in the core zone, while tufted deer are located evenly in the three functional zones. Finally, suggestions for effective and feasible management strategies and techniques for Matoushan National Nature Reserve were recommended based on the results and analysis in this study.
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