[1].Nest Site Preference and Fidelity of Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis)[J].Asian Herpetological Research,2017,8(4):244-252.[doi:10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.170066]
 Haiqiong YANG,Lan ZHAO,Qunhua HAN and Shengguo FANG*.Nest Site Preference and Fidelity of Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis)[J].Asian Herpetological Reserch(AHR),2017,8(4):244-252.[doi:10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.170066]

Nest Site Preference and Fidelity of Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis)()

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



Nest Site Preference and Fidelity of Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis)
Haiqiong YANG Lan ZHAO Qunhua HAN and Shengguo FANG*
The Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Endangered Wildlife of the Ministry of Education, and State Conservation Center for Gene Resources of Endangered Wildlife, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Chinese alligator ecological factor nest site preference nest site fidelity
Oviparous female reptiles select nesting sites with optimal ecological factors that contribute to egg development. Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis), an oviparous reptile, is a critically endangered crocodilian with temperature-dependent sex determination. Research on its nesting behavior may facilitate the protection of this species. In this study, we monitored nesting behavior over eight years. We compared selected frequency of nest sites, distance from nest site to water, height from nest site top to the water surface, distance from nest site to human activity region, and canopy density between nest sites on the island and bank. The results showed that 45 nest sites were used by female alligators over eight years and each site was selected from one to 10 times. The selected frequency of nest site occurrence on the island was higher than that on the bank (P < 0.001). We observed that 88% of the individual alligators (15/17) showed different degrees of nest site fidelity. However, Chinese alligators might not always be loyal to only one nest site because of environmental changes or interspecific competition at nest sites. Our findings suggest that female alligators prefer to nest at island, which might be because of the nests on the island had a higher canopy density (P = 0.010) and were further from the human activity region (P < 0.001) than those on the bank did. It would be beneficial to reduce human activities during the breeding season and protect the vegetation of Chinese alligator habitats in the future.


Ali A., Yaacob K. K. K., Solahuddin A. R., Talib Z. 2005. Individual nest site preference of green turtle, Chelonia mydas, on Mak Kepit beach and its relation with hatching emergence success. Emu, 100(1): 45–49
Brown G. P., Shine R. 2004. Maternal nest-site choice and offspring fitness in a tropical snake (Tropidonophis mairii, Colubridae). Ecology, 85(6): 1627–1634
Chen B. 2003. Research on the Chinese alligator. Shanghai, China: Education Press of Sciences and Technology (In Chinese)
Doody J. S., Guarino E., Georges A., Corey B., Murray G., Ewert M. 2006. Nest site choice compensates for climate effects on sex ratios in a lizard with environmental sex determination. Evol Ecol, 20(4): 307–330
Elsey R. M., Trosclair P. L., Glenn T. C. 2008. Nest-site fidelity in American alligators in a Louisiana coastal marsh. Southeast Nat, 7(4): 737–743
Ewert M. A., Lang J. W., Nelson C. E. 2005. Geographic variation in the pattern of temperature-dependent sex determination in the American snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). J Zool, 265(1): 81–95
Janzen F. J., Morjan C. L. 2001. Repeatability of microenvironment-specific nesting behaviour in a turtle with environmental sex determination. Anim Behav, 62(1): 73–82
Kamel S. J. 2013. Vegetation cover predicts temperature in nests of the hawksbill sea turtle: Implications for beach management and offspring sex ratios. Endang Species Res, 20(1): 41–48
Kamel S. J., Mrosovsky N. 2005. Repeatability of nesting preferences in the hawksbill sea turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata, and their fitness consequences. Anim Behav, 70(4): 819–828
Kamel S. J., Mrosovsky N., Mirosovsky M. 2006. Inter-seasonal maintenance of individual nest site preferences in Hawksbill Sea Turtles. Ecology, 87(11): 2947–2952
Lang J. W., Andrews H. V. 1994. Temperature-dependent sex determination in crocodilians. J Exp Zool, 270: 28–44
Liles M. J., Peterson M. J., Seminoff J. A., Altamirano E., Henríquez A. V., Gaos A. R., Gadea V., Urteaga J., Torres P., Wallace B. P. 2015. One size does not fit all: Importance of adjusting conservation practices for endangered hawksbill turtles to address local nesting habitat needs in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Biol Conserv, 184: 405–413
Lindberg M. S., Sedinger J. S. 1997. Ecological consequences of nest site fidelity in Black Brant. Condor, 99(1): 25–38
Lindeman P. V. 1992. Nest-site fixity among Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) in Northern Idaho. Northwest Nat, 73(1): 27–30
Lloyd J. D., Martin T. E. 2004. Nest-site preference and maternal effects on offspring growth. Behav Ecol, 15(5): 816–823
Martin B., Novotn? M., Danko S., Bure?ová A. 2012. Nest site fidelity in the Slovakian population of the European pond turtle Emys orbicularis. Amphibia-Reptilia, 33(2012): 207–213
Mitchell T. S., Warner D. A., Janzen F. J. 2013. Phenotypic and fitness consequences of maternal nest-site choice across multiple early life stages. Ecology, 94(2): 336–345
Mitrus S. 2006. Fidelity to nesting area of the European pond turtle, Emys orbicularis (Linnaeus, 1758). Belg J Zool, 136(1): 25–30
Reedy A. M., Zaragoza D., Warner D. A. 2013. Maternally chosen nest sites positively affect multiple components of offspring fitness in a lizard. Behav Ecol, 24(1): 39–46
Refsnider J. M., Daugherty C. H., Keall S. N., Nelson N. J. 2010. Nest-site choice and fidelity in tuatara on Stephens Island, New Zealand. J Zool, 280(4): 396–402
Resetarits W. J. 1996. Oviposition site choice and life history evolution. Am Zool, 36(2): 205–215
Serafini T. Z., Lopez G. G., Rocha P. L. B. D. 2009. Nest site selection and hatching success of hawksbill and loggerhead sea turtles (Testudines, Cheloniidae) at Arembepe Beach, northeastern Brazil. Phyllomedusa J Herpetol, 8(1): 3–17
Sun X., Gao D., Li R., Liu G. 2005. Quickly accurate determination method of forest land crown density based on AscView GIS. J Heilongjiang Hydraulic Engineer College, 32(3): 89–90 (In Chinese)
Switzer P. V. 1993. Site fidelity in predictable and unpredictable habitats. Evol Ecol, 7(6): 533–555
Thorbjarnarson J., Wang X., Ming S., He L., Ding Y., Wu Y., Mcmurry S. T. 2002. Wild populations of the Chinese alligator approach extinction. Biol Conserv, 103(1): 93–102
Thorbjarnarson J., Wang X. 1999. The conservation status of the Chinese alligator. Oryx, 33(2): 152–159
Turkozan O., Yamamoto K., Y?lmaz C. 2012. Nest site preference and hatching success of Green (Chelonia mydas) and Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) Sea Turtles at Akyatan Beach, Turkey. Chelonian Conserv Biol, 10(2): 270–275
Walde A. D., Bider J. R., Masse D. 2007. Nesting ecology and hatching success of the Wood Turtle, Glyptemys insculpta, in Quebec. Herpetol Conserv Biol, 2(1): 49–60
Wang J., Wu X., Tian D., Zhu J., Wang R., Wang C. 2011. Nest-site use by the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) in the Gaojingmiao Breeding Farm, Anhui, China. Asian Herpetol Res, 2(1): 36–40
Wang Z., Yao H., Ding Y., Thorbjarnarson J., Wang X. 2011. Testing reintroduction as a conservation strategy for the critically endangered Chinese alligator: Movements and home range of released captive individuals. Chinese Sci Bull, 56(24): 2586–2593
Xia T., Jiang X. 2005. Effect of environmental factors on nesting and laying eggs of Chinese allgator in captivity. Sichuan J Zool, 24(3): 373–377 (In Chinese)
Zhang F., Wu X., Meng W., Zhu J. 2006. Ecology on the making nest and laying eggs of Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) under artificial feeding conditions. Zool Res, 27(2): 151–156 (In Chinese)
Zhao L., Yang H., Fang L., Pan G., Zou W., Ren D., Wan Q., Fang S. 2013. The sex ratio of wild Chinese alligators Alligator sinensis. Curr Zool, 59(6): 725–731
Zhao Z., Wang S., Xu Y., Ren G., Luo Y., Gao X. 2003. Attribution of the 20th century climate warming in China. Clim Envir Res, 10(4): 808–817 (In Chinese)
Zhou K. 2007. Influence of cover degree of vegetation on selecting nest and incubattng egg of Chinese alligator. Sichuan J Zool, 26(2): 422–424 (In Chinese)

更新日期/Last Update: 2017-12-25