Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2016, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (1): 44-50.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2016.01.006

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Improving Conservation of Cranes by Modeling Potential Wintering Distributions in China

JIAO Shengwu, ZENG Qing, SUN Gongqi, LEI Guangchun*   

  1. School of Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2015-10-08 Online:2016-02-15 Published:2016-02-15
  • Contact: Lei Guangchun.
  • Supported by:
    Major State Basic Research Development Program of China (973 Program, Grant No.2012CB417005)

Abstract: Habitat management is essential for the conservation of wildlife, especially cranes. Here, we collected occurrence data at wintering grounds for four cranes (Leucogeranus leucogeranus, Grus monacha, Antigone vipio and G. grus) and analyzed associated environmental variables to model and project overall potential wintering habitat using Maxent. ENMTools was used to calculate the degree of niche overlap among cranes. Results showed that lakes in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River are main habitats for the four focal species. Inland water and coastal wetlands in Jiangsu are also potential wintering areas. G. grus spreads over central and eastern China. The four cranes show tight niche overlap in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Poyang Lake is one of the most important habitat sites for all four cranes, according to modeling and niche overlap results. Poyang Lake is cut into a dozen nature reserves, but a bigger nature reserve or system would be more effective for cranes. The conservation of these four crane species will be improved on the basis of this study.