Habitat characteristics or territory size: which is more important to
composition and diversity of mammals in non-protect area?
The main strategy for animal diversity conservation is to increase the
territory size but little consideration is given to habitat
characteristics requirement, which lead to a decrease in effectiveness
for protected areas. Marginal of protected areas are considered to have
higher species richness due to the edge effect. Strategy in these sites
are still adopts to increase territory size or pay no attention to needs
of specific habitat characteristics that is an important topic for the
planner and manager. In this study, camera traps was used to estimate
composition, diversity and habitat characteristics of mammals in a
non-protected area near Huangshan Mountains in Anhui Province, China. We
ran 49 liner models with the relative abundance index and 13 habitat
characteristic factors of 11 mammals. To answer the question of habitat
characteristics or territory size: which is more important to
composition and diversity of mammals in non-protect area? We
hypothesized that: (1) Non-protected areas have more mammal species than
protected areas with the edge effect. (2) Non-protected areas have more
species associated with habitat characteristics. We predicted that the
habitat characteristics should be firstly considered, territory size
secondly in non-protected areas, would provide a last refuge for
mammals. Cameras were operated from June 2017 to October 2019, for a
total of 29 months, 2,212 independent photos, 9,485 trap-days, recorded
18 species of mammals more than any other protected areas confirmed
first hypothesis 1. The model analysis results showed that, habitat
characteristics of mammals were different and showed a significant
correlation, supported hypothesis 2. In addition, most species are
related to vegetation characteristics except to primates (Macaca.
thibetana) and rodent (Leopoldamys edwardsi) confirmed our prediction.
We suggested conservation policies in non-protected areas: Habitat
characteristics should be concerned at first and then increasing
protected areas to provide the last refuge for species conservation.