Analysis and Management of Tibetan Antelope Migration Route Based on Habitat Suitability Index Model

Prof. Rencai Dong1, Ph.D candidate Xueqi  Zhang1,2, Prof. Guohua Liu1

1Research Centre For Eco-environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy Of Sciences  State Key Laboratory Of Urban And Regional , Beijing, China, 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

To protect migration routes is very important for scientific management of endangered species. The Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii), which is included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as an endangered species, is an extremely important part of the natural ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The migratory pattern of Tibetan antelope populations is invariant and unique, and the migration process has always been subject to attention from governments, scientists, and conservationists. In this paper, we simulated the optimal migration route and migration corridor of the Sanjiangyuan population of Tibetan antelope. Consulting the previous observations, we selected Cuochi Village and Zhuonai Lake as the start and end points of migration of the Sanjiangyuan population of Tibetan antelope. The habitat suitability index (HSI) and least cost model (LCM) were integrated to simulate the optimal migration route and corridor. The simulated route was further validated by animal monitoring data. The results indicated that about 70.6% of the study area suitable habitat. The simulated optimal migration route of Tibetan antelope extended 288.2 km, mostly along the Chumaer River. This route was highly consistent with the long-term observations. The area of the migration corridor reached 40192.3 km2, of which 93.1% was suitable habitat. This paper contributes to enriching the understanding of the migration route and corridor of Tibetan antelope. Management should focus on grasslands, water sources, and wildlife passageways through important habitats and key nodes on migration route, especially facing the global climate change.

Keywords:Tibetan Antelope, Habitat Suitability Index, Least-Cost-Model, Migration Route, Migration Corridor


Prof. Rencai Dong is from Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology. His research interests are mainly in regional ecology and urban geography.

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