A preliminarily assessment of landscape factors affecting habitat use by Przewalski horses and habitat evaluation in Hustai National Park, Mongolia

Iori Kajiwara, Yu Yoshihara, Shusuke Sato

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Przewalski horses (Equus ferus przewalskii) bred in captivity in foreign zoos have been reintroduced to Hustai National Park (HNP) in Mongolia. To successfully return horses to their former wild habitat, we need reliable information regarding their habitat use. Hence, the purposes of this study were to examine the landscape context affecting habitat use by Przewalski horses and to identify potential suitable habitat areas in HNP. To clarify the factors affecting the horses' habitat use, we constructed a generalized linear model (GLM) based on fecal counts taken from 48 randomly sampled field plots in HNP. The fecal number counted in each plot was defined as the dependent variable in the model, and we included seven explanatory variables that may affect Przewalski horses' habitat use: distance to a river, distance to forest, distance to a road, slope, difference of elevation with surroundings, number of plant communities, and presence of dominant forage plant categories. Finally, we used the most parsimonious model to identify potential suitable habitat areas on a cell-based map of HNP. The GLM that best explained fecal density was the full model containing all explanatory variables, indicating that Przewalski horses' habitat use is influenced by resources essential to maintaining their survival and by the livelihood of risk. According to our habitat evaluation based on the most parsimonious model, it appears that suitable habitat areas were scattered in the outer side of HNP. These results indicate that Przewalski horses could extend their habitat area beyond their current distribution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)340-344
    Number of pages5
    JournalMammalian Biology
    Volume81
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1

    Keywords

    • Conservation
    • Equus ferus przewalskii
    • Fecal density
    • Geographical information system
    • Habitat use
    • Landscape context

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Animal Science and Zoology

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