Camera traps serve as an important tool for monitoring species diversity. We used data from camera traps set for capturing snow leopards (Panthera uncia) in the Yanchiwan National Nature Reserve, Gansu Province, China, to assess species richness with respect to mammal and birds species. We also assessed survey efficiency for species detection, and conducted an initial analysis of species interactions. The survey effort of 10, 171 camera workdays yielded 2, 868 suitable animal image events involving 17 mammal and 20 bird species. Among these, the dhole (Cuon alpinus) is considered to be Endangered, the snow leopard and white-lipped deer (Cervus albirostris) Vulnerable, and the Pallas's cat (Feli smanul), mountain weasel (Mustela altaica), Himalayan griffon (Gyps himalayensis) and cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) Near Threatened under the IUCN red list. Fourteen species were also listed as key protected wild animals according to China national standards. Both the rarefaction curves and richness estimators suggested our sampling for mammal and pheasant species is sufficient, while more survey efforts are still needed to detect other bird species. With a focus on the dominant species Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), occupancy models were used to estimate site use and detection probability for selected species, and to investigate predator-prey relationships between lynx on the one hand and woolly hare (Lepus oiostolus), pika (Ochotona spp.) and Tibetan partridge (Perdix hodgsoniae) on the other. We give recommendations on how to increase efficiency in camera-based species inventory and biodiversity monitoring.
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