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Issue:ISSN 1000-7083
          CN 51-1193/Q
Director:Sichuan Association for Science and Technology
Sponsored by:Sichuan Society of Zoologists; Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation; Sichuan Association of Wildlife Conservation; Sichuan University
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The Role of Vertebrates in Wild Animal Corpses Degradation Process by Camera Trap in the Tangjiahe Nature Reserve
Author of the article:DIAO Kunpeng, LI Mingfu, WEN Cheng
Author's Workplace:SHANSHUI Conservion Center, Haidian District, Beijing 100089, China Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve, Qingchuan, Sichuan 628100, China
Key Words:Decomposition of Animal Corpses, Scavengers, the Nature Reserve, Camera Trap
Abstract:Using camera traps on eight animal corpses in the Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve, we recorded the decomposition processes of animal corpses under natural conditions over a period of 11 months. Results showed that, in addition to micro-organisms and invertebrates, vertebrates also played a vital role in the decomposition process of animal bodies.(1) The decomposition process of animal bodies attracted a variety of vertebrates to feed. However, different vertebrates varied based on their approach and usage level of animal bodies. Animals that had the highest usage level of the animal bodies were Sus scrofa, Ursus thibetanus, and Corvus macrorhynchhos. The actual usage rates of these three animals were 87.15%, 9.08% and 3.72%, respectively, which in total reached 99.9% of the usage rate of all vertebrates in this area. Other animals such as Paguma larvata taivana and Glires only took up 0.1% of the usage rate.(2) Sus scrofa displayed cannibalistic behaviour and liked dragging the corpses to other places; Parus monticolus collected the fur from the bodies in order to make their nests. We found that primates did not stay for a long time besides the corpses. These study results suggest that, if animal corpses found in nature preserves do not pollute the water resources, and if the animals themselves died naturally, they should be left to decompose instead of being buried.
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