Distribution range contractions and identification of conservation priority areas for canids in Sichuan Province, China

Wancai Xia, Cyril C. Grueter, Chao Zhang, Hongfei Zhuang, Jie Hu, Ali Krzton, Dayong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Canids are among the numerous taxonomic groups that have recently experienced significant population declines. The reconstruction of distribution range changes using long-term ecological data can reveal processes underlying spatial contractions that short-term studies may not detect. We integrated ecological niche modeling with long-term ecological records to estimate the magnitude of canid range contractions in Sichuan Province over the last 50 years. Our findings indicate that canid distributions underwent sharp contractions between the 1970 s and 2010 s (contraction rates: gray wolf Canis lupus 24.62%, dhole Cuon alpinus 75.65%, red fox Vulpes vulpes 48.63%, Tibetan fox V. ferrilata 26.88%, and raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides 30.84%). Concerning environmental variables, our results suggest that altitude, dd<18 (degree-days below 18 °C, heating degree-days), LUCC (land use), and human population density contributed the most to patterns of canid distribution between the 1970s and 2010s. Canid contraction rates in nature reserves were significantly lower than in other types of protected and non-protected areas. For all study species, 47% of the canid conservation priority areas on average have been protected in Sichuan Province. The Chinese government has recently upgraded canid species’ protection level and established more national parks. However, it is critical to invest in the surveillance of anthropogenic disturbance, compensation schemes for human–wildlife conflict, and public wildlife conservation education.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02499
JournalGlobal Ecology and Conservation
Volume44
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Distribution range contractions and identification of conservation priority areas for canids in Sichuan Province, China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this