LIU Peng,SUN Lixin,LI Jianli,et al.Population Viability Analysis of Gloydius shedaoensis from Northeastern China: A Contribution to the Assessment of the Conservation and Management Status of an Endangered Species[J].Asian Herpetological Research(AHR),2010,1(1):48-56.[doi:10.3724/SP.J.1245.2010.00048]
Click Copy

Population Viability Analysis of Gloydius shedaoensis from Northeastern China: A Contribution to the Assessment of the Conservation and Management Status of an Endangered Species
Share To:

Asian Herpetological Research[ISSN:2095-0357/CN:51-1735/Q]

2010 VoI.1 No.1
Research Field:
Original Article
Publishing date:


Population Viability Analysis of Gloydius shedaoensis from Northeastern China: A Contribution to the Assessment of the Conservation and Management Status of an Endangered Species
LIU Peng1 SUN Lixin 2 LI Jianli3 WANG Li2 ZHAO Wenge1 and JIA Jingbo3*
1 College of Life Sciences and Technology, Harbin Normal University, Harbin 150025, Heilongjiang, China
2 Administrative Office of Snake Island and Laotie Mountain Nature Reserve, Dalian 116041, Liaoning, China
3 College of Wildlife Resources, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, Heilongjiang, China
Gloydius shedaoensis VORTEX simulation model sensitivity analysis model veracity test species conservation
Shedao pit-vipers (Gloydius shedaoensis) on Snake Island in the Liaoning Province, China, are among the most imperiled species in China. The isolated and unique populations are crucial in the recovery of this endangered species by providing a way for conservation and management. Research based on the ecological simulation tools can evaluate alternative mitigation strategies in terms of their benefits to the populations, which are vital for informed decision-making. In this paper, using the program VORTEX 9.42, we developed a population viability analysis (PVA) for the Shedao pit-viper to: (1) address the extinction likelihood of the population; (2) simulate population dynamics under various environment events, and (3) evaluate the efficacy of current protection and management strategies. Overall, we found the population to be susceptible to the factors of catastrophic events, mortality and environment capacity. The population is recovering slowly at present on account of improvement of habitat and greater food availability. Under the current conditions, the probability of extinction in 100 years is approximately zero. These data coincide with the evidence that the wild population may be arriving at K. Our results strengthen the view that protection and management can create a pronounced effect on populations of this endangered species.


Akani G. C., Luiselli L., Politano E. 1999. Ecological and conservation considerations on the reptile fauna of the eastern Niger Delta (Nigeria). Herpetozoa, 11: 141–153
Alves R. R. D., Pereira G. A. 2007. Commercialization and use of snakes in north and northeastern Brazil: Implications for conservation and management. Biodiver Conserv, 16: 969–985
Beissinger S. R. 2002. Population viability analysis: Past, present and future. In: Beissinger S.R., McCullough D.M. (Eds.). Population Viability. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 576 pp
Beissinger S. R., Westphal M. I. 1998. One the use of demographic models of population viability analysis in endangered species management. J Wildl Manage, 62: 821–841
Bhupathy S., Vijayan V. S. 1989. Status, distribution, and general ecology of the Indian python Python molurus molurus Linn. in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan. J Bombay Nat His Soc, 86: 381–387
Boyce M. S. 1992. Population viability analysis. Ann Rev Ecol Syst, 23: 481–506
Brook B. W., O’Grady J. J., Chapman A. P., Burgman M. A., Akcakaya H. R., Frankham R. 2000. Predictive accuracy of population viability analysis in conservation biology. Nature, 404: 385–387
Brooks S. E., Allison E. H., Reynolds J. D. 2007. Vulnerability of Cambodian Water Snakes: Initial assessment of the impact of hunting at Tonle Sap Lake. Biol Conserv, 139: 401–414
Corbett C. K. 1989. Conservation of European reptiles and amphibians. London: Christopher Helm.
Dodd Jr. C. K. 1993. Strategies for snake conservation. In: Seigel R. A., Collins J. T. (Eds.), Snakes: Ecology and Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill, 363–393
Filippi E., Luiselli L. 2000. Status of the Italian snake fauna and assessment of conservation threats. Biol Conserv, 93: 219–225
Huang M. P. 1984. An estimate of the population of Agkistrodon shedaoensis on Shedao Island. Acta Herpetol Sinica, 3: 7–22
Huang M. P. 1989. Studies on Agkistrodon shedaoensis ecology. In: Matsui M., Hikida T., Goris R. C. (Eds.), Current Herpetology in East Asia. Kyoto: Herpetol Soc Japan, 381–383
Jiang Y., Zhao E. 1980. Ecological data on Snake-island pit-viper and Pallas' pit-viper. Acta Herpetol Sinica, 5: 1–5
Kjoss V. A., Litvaitis J. A. 2001. Comparison of 2 methods to sample snake communities in early successional habitats. Wildl Soc Bull, 29: 153–157
Kohlmann S. G., Schmidt G. A., Garcelon D. K. 2005. A population viability analysis for the Island Fox on Santa Catalina Island, California. Ecol Modell, 183, 77–94
Lacy R. C., Borbat M., Pollak J. P. 2003. VORTEX: A stochastic simulation of the extinction process, Version 9. Illinois: Chicago Zool Soc, Brookfield
Li J. L., Sun L. X., Wang X. P., Bi H. T.,Wang L. P., Wu C., Yu Y. F., Qu N. X., Lin X. Z., Yang C. J. 2007. Influence of population distribution pattern of Gloydius shedaoensis Zhao on predatory rate. J Snake, 19: 12–16
Li J. L. 1995. China Snake Island. Dalian, China: Liaoning Sci Technol Press
Li J. L., Luan Y. G., Sun L. X., Zhao D. B., Diao Y. 1990. Studies on some problems of Agkistrodon shedaoensis population due to seasonal changes. In: Zhao E. (Ed.), From Water onto Land. Beijing: China Forestry Press, 273–276
Lindenmayer D. B., Possingham H. P. 1996. Ranking conservation and timber management options for Leadbeater’s Possum in southeastern Australia using population viability analysis. Conserv Biol, 10: 235–251
McArthur R. H., Wilson E. O. 1967. The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 97 pp
Pleguezuelos J. M., Santos X., Brito J. C., Parellada X., Llorente, G. A., Fahde S. 2007. Reproductive ecology of Vipera latastei, in the Iberian Peninsula: Implications for the conservation of a Mediterranean viper. Zoology, 110: 9–19
Shine R., Sun L. X. 2002. Arboreal ambush site selection by Pit-vipers (Gloydius shedaoensis). Anim Behav, 63: 565–576
Shine R., Sun L. X. Mark F., Michael K. 2002a. Accidental altruism in Insular Pit-vipers (Gloydius shedaoensis, Viperidae). Evol Ecol, 16: 541–548
Shine R., Sun L. X., Michael K., Mark F. 2002b. Thermal correlates of foraging-site selection by Chinese Pit-vipers (Gloydius shedaoensis, Viperidae). J Therm Biol, 27: 405–412
Shine R., Sun L. X., Zhao E. M., Bonnet X. 2002c. A review of 30 years of ecological research on the Shedao Pitviper, Gloydius shedaoensis. Herpetol Nat His, 9: 1–14
Sun L. X., Shine R., Zhao D. B., Tang Z. R. 2001. Biotic and abiotic influences on activity patterns of insular pit-vipers (Gloydius shedaoensis, Viperidae) from north-eastern China. Biol Conserv, 97: 387–398
Sun L. X., Shine R., Zhao D. B., Tang Z. R. 2002. Low Cost, High Output: Reproduction in an Insular Pit-Vipers (Gloydius shedaoensis, Viperidae) from North-Eastern China. J Zool, 256: 501–521
Sun L. X., Zhao D. B., Zhang J., Tang Z. R. 2000. Studies on the population dynamics of Gloydius shedaoensis and on ecological and environmental changes. Sichuan J Zool, 19: 154–155
Sun L. X., Zhao D. B., Tang Z. R. 1990. Studies on the appearance rate during the peak of predation of Agkistrodon shedaoensis Zhao. In: Zhao E. (ed), From Water Onto Land. Beijing: China Forestry Press, 281–283
Sun L. X., Zhao D. B., Tang Z. R. 1993. Studies on the reproductive ecology of the Snake Island Pit-viper. Snake and Frog Studies. Papers of the China Hwan Shan International Reptile Symposium, 4: 154–159
Ujvari B., Madsen T., Kotenko T., Olsson M., Shine R., Wittzell H. 2002. Low genetic diversity threatens imminent extinction for the Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis). Biol Conserv, 105: 127–130
Wang S., Xie Y. 2004. China Species Red List. Beijing: Higher Education Press, 221pp
Webb J. K., Brook B. W., Shine R. 2002. Reptile collectors threaten Australia's most endangered snake, the Broad-headed Snake Hoplocephalus bungaroides. Oryx, 36: 170–181
Wu L. 1977. Observations on the ecology of Snake Island Pit-vipers. J Anim Biol, 12: 32–36
Yang M. X. 1983. Sexual cycle of Agkistrodon shedaoensis Zhao. Acta Herpetol Sinica, 2: 17–25
Yang M. X., Ma S. C. 1986. Distribution type of Agkistrodon shedaoensis. Acta Herpetol Sinica, 5: 304
Zhao E. 1998. China Red Data Book of Endangered Animals: Amphibia and Reptilia. Beijing: Science Press, 296–298
Zhao E. 1979. A new Agkistrodon from Shedao (Snake Island), Liaoning. Acta Herpetol Sinica, 1: 4–6
Zhou Z. H., Jiang Z. G. 2004. International trade status and crisis of snake species in China. Conserv Biol, 18: 1384–1396


Last Update: 2016-03-15