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Journal of Arid Land  2018, Vol. 10 Issue (6): 959-967    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0028-8
Research article     
Activity patterns and resource partitioning: seven species at watering sites in the Altun Mountains, China
Yadong XUE1, Jia LI1, Guli SAGEN2, Yu ZHANG1, Yunchuan DAI1, Diqiang LI1,*()
1 Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2 Administrative Bureau of Xinjiang Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve, Urumqi 830011, China
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As part of a larger project to examine the richness and distribution of wildlife in Kumtag Desert area, we conducted camera trapping surveys during the period 2010-2012 at seven watering sites in an arid region of the Altun Mountains in western China. Information on activity patterns of the wild bactrian camel (Camelus ferus), kiang (Equus kiang), goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa), argali (Ovis ammon), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and wolf (Canis lupus) was obtained. We found that the wild camel, kiang, goitered gazelle, argali, and blue sheep were predominantly diurnal at watering sites, whereas red fox and wolf were nocturnal. Five herbivores partitioned the use of watering sites in a temporal manner to minimize the risk of predation by carnivores. The wild camel was the dominant herbivorous species at the watering sites. The kiang, goitered gazelle, argali, and blue sheep displayed adaptive water use by altering spatial or temporal patterns based on the presence or absence of wild camel, to minimize the risk of interspeci?c strife. These results are suggestive of the differences in activity patterns that might modulate water partitioning by different species, and provide insights for the development of conservation strategies for integrated species and decisions regarding water development in the Altun Mountains.

Key wordscamera trapping      competition      desert animal      interaction      watering site      niche partitioning     
Received: 04 December 2017      Published: 07 November 2018
Corresponding Authors: Diqiang LI     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Yadong XUE, Jia LI, Guli SAGEN, Yu ZHANG, Yunchuan DAI, Diqiang LI. Activity patterns and resource partitioning: seven species at watering sites in the Altun Mountains, China. Journal of Arid Land, 2018, 10(6): 959-967.

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