We carried out a primary survey by quadrat sampling to quantify breeding habitat characteristics of blackthroat (Luscnia obscura), a poorly documented and vulnerable bird species, in Foping nature reserve on the central southern Qinling Mountains. Tree layer information was collected in 10 m × 10 m plots, bamboo and shrub layer information was collected in 2 m × 2 m plots, and grass and ground layer information was collected in 1 m × 1 m plots. Our observations showed that blackthroat lives in coniferous forest and coniferous broadleaved forest with dense bamboos at the elevation ranging from 2130 m to 2600 m. Shrub cover, density and height, and ground cover in sites with blackthroat were significantly higher than those in random sites, while tree density, grass height and cover in habitat sites were significantly lower than those in random sites. These results suggest that shrub cover, shrub density, and canopy cover may be relevant to breeding habitat selection by these birds. Our study suggests that Qinling Mountains may be an important blackthroat breeding site.
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Vol. 31 • No. 5