Little is known about habitat selection of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), especially about the relationship between giant panda presence and bamboo and tree structures. We presented data on giant panda habitat use and selection in Foping Nature Reserve (NR), China. We used 1,066 radiotracking locations for 6 collared individuals to analyze giant panda habitat selection, and we used 110 plots to reveal the structure of giant panda habitat and its relationship with giant panda presence. We found that (1) giant pandas in Foping NR selected mostly 3 habitats: conifer forest, deciduous broadleaf forest, and Fargesia bamboo groves. (2) In winter, giant pandas selected deciduous broadleaf forest within elevations of 1,600 to 1,800 m with a south-facing slope of 10 to 20 degrees. In summer, giant pandas selected conifer forest within elevations of 2,400 to 2,600 m and a slope of 20 to 30 degrees. (3) Giant pandas selected the Bashaina fargesii bamboo area with short and dense culms in winter, while they selected the Fargesia qinlingensis bamboo area with a high coverage of tall and thick culms in summer. We concluded that giant pandas in Foping NR do select their preferred habitats. These findings may be used to guide the human activities in the reserve with consideration of giant panda habitat conditions.
|Journal||Journal of Wildlife Management|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|