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Science:稀有雪豹1/4猎物是家畜

摘要 : 濒危雪豹和珍惜喜马拉雅狼让尼泊尔动物保护人士很头疼。

濒危雪豹和珍惜喜马拉雅狼让尼泊尔动物保护人士很头疼。尽管这两种物种都喜欢捕食野生猎物,但一项新研究表明,它们吃的牲畜比认为的更多,这对流动牧民造成了负担,很多无人伴随的山羊、牦牛、奶牛和马在山区牧场走失。

为了了解这些野生捕食者是否偶尔会以家养动物为食,科学家在安纳普尔纳峰和玛纳斯卢峰保护区5000平方公里的山区,收集了182只雪豹的573次粪便和57匹狼的236次粪便。

他们的基因分析表明,被称为岩羊的蓝色山羊构成猎豹食物的57%,而土拨鼠和兔子等小型哺乳动物则占狼群食物的41%。这些犬科动物还会吃野生藏羚羊和其他有蹄类动物,这构成其食物的31%。接下来食物清单上的排名是家畜,占狼食物的24%,猎豹食物的27%,科学家在2月8日发表于美国《公共科学图书馆·综合》的文章中报告称。

猎豹似乎更偏爱马和羊,而狼会更偏爱山羊、马、奶牛和牦牛,但猎豹则会尽量避开牦牛,因为其体型庞大。雄性是主要的家畜杀手,这可能是因为雌性更加谨慎,科学家说。

此次发现结果并未出乎科学家的预料。他们预测当野生猎物数量稀少时,这些捕食者会吃掉更多家畜,这种行为对于大型猫科动物如老虎、狮子和美洲狮等极为常见。

但科研人员也担心,这些捕食者对家畜的捕杀会使得保护它们免受人类复仇的工作变得更难。其解决方法是什么呢?增加猎豹和狼群可捕食的野生猎物的数量。

原文链接:

Rare snow leopard’s diet is one-quarter livestock

原文摘要:

Endangered snow leopards and rare Himalayan wolves may be giving conservationists in Nepal a new kind of headache. Although both species prefer dining on wild prey, a new study shows they consume far more livestock than realized, a burden on the migrating herders who let their goats, yaks, cows, and horses wander—often unaccompanied—in the region’s mountain pastures. To find out whether the wild predators were helping themselves to the occasional domesticated animal meal, scientists collected 573 scats from 182 leopards (Panthera uncial, shown above) and 236 scats from 57 wolves (Canis lupo chanco) at 26 sites spread across 5000 square kilometers of mountain terrain in the Annapurna and Manaslu conservation areas. Their genetic analysis showed that wild blue sheep called bharal comprised 57% of the leopards’ diet, wheras small mammals such as marmots and hares made up the bulk of the wolves’ meals, at 41%. The canids also ate Tibetan gazelles and other ungulates, which made up 31% of their diet. Next on the list was livestock, making up 24% of the wolves’ diets and 27% of the leopards’, the scientists report today in PLOS ONE. The spotted cats seem to prefer horses and goats, wheras the wolves favor goats, horses, cows, and yaks—an animal the leopards avoid, perhaps because of its size. Males are the primary livestock killers, possibly because females are more wary, the scientists say. The findings come as no surprise to the scientists, who predicted that the predators would eat more livestock when wild prey was scarce—a behavior common to big wild cats like tigers, lions, and cougars. But they also worry that the predators’ taste for domesticated animals will make it harder to protect them from humans seeking revenge. One solution? Building up the populations of the leopards’ and wolves’ wild prey.

来源: Science 浏览次数:0

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