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Assessment of habitat suitability of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in Qomolangma National Nature Reserve based on MaxEnt modeling
De-Feng Bai, Peng-Ju Chen, Luciano Atzeni, Lhaba Cering, Qian Li, Kun Shi
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 373-386.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.057
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (20625KB) (133)
Habitat evaluation constitutes an important and fundamental step in the management of wildlife populations and conservation policy planning. Geographic information system (GIS) and species presence data provide the means by which such evaluation can be done. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) is widely used in habitat suitability modeling due to its power of accuracy and additional descriptive properties. To survey snow leopard populations in Qomolangma (Mt. Everest, QNNR) National Nature Reserve, Tibet, China, we pooled 127 pugmarks, 415 scrape marks, and 127 non-invasive identifications of the animal along line transects and recorded 87 occurrences through camera traps from 2014–2017. We adopted the MaxEnt model to generate a map highlighting the extent of suitable snow leopard habitat in QNNR. Results showed that the accuracy of the MaxEnt model was excellent (mean AUC=0.921). Precipitation in the driest quarter, ruggedness, elevation, maximum temperature of the warmest month, and annual mean temperature were the main environmental factors influencing habitat suitability for snow leopards, with contribution rates of 20.0%, 14.4%, 13.3%, 8.7%, and 8.2% respectively. The suitable habitat area extended for 7001.93 km2, representing 22.72% of the whole reserve. The regions bordering Nepal were the main suitable snow leopard habitats and consisted of three separate habitat patches. Our findings revealed that precipitation, temperature conditions, ruggedness, and elevations of around 4000 m influenced snow leopard preferences at the landscape level in QNNR. We advocate further research and cooperation with Nepal to evaluate habitat connectivity and to explore possible proxies of population isolation among these patches. Furthermore, evaluation of subdivisions within the protection zones of QNNR is necessary to improve conservation strategies and enhance protection. 
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Maternal gene Ooep may participate in homologous recombination-mediated DNA double-strand break repair in mouse oocytes
Da-Jian He, Lin Wang, Zhi-Bi Zhang, Kun Guo, Jing-Zheng Li, Xie-Chao He, Qing-Hua Cui, Ping Zheng
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 387-395.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.067
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (2102KB) (141)
DNA damage in oocytes can cause infertility and birth defects. DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are highly deleterious and can substantially impair genome integrity. Homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DNA DSB repair plays dominant roles in safeguarding oocyte quantity and quality. However, little is known regarding the key players of the HR repair pathway in oocytes. Here, we identified oocyte-specific gene Ooep as a novel key component of the HR repair pathway in mouse oocytes. OOEP was required for efficient ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase activation and Rad51 recombinase(RAD51)focal accumulation at DNA DSBs. Ooep null oocytes were defective in DNA DSB repair and prone to apoptosis upon exogenous DNA damage insults. Moreover, Ooep null oocytes exhibited delayed meiotic maturation. Therefore, OOEP played roles in preserving oocyte quantity and quality by maintaining genome stability. Ooep expression decreased with the advance of maternal age, suggesting its involvement in maternal aging. 
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