Thursday, August 5, 2010 - 1:30 PM

COS 94-1: Leopard cat conservation plan in a fragmented riparian wildlife refuge in Seoul, Korea

Chong Hwa Park and Dong-Geol Woo. The Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Seoul National University


The objectives of this paper were to investigate the home range of Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) in our test site, Kangseo Wetland Park of Seoul, Korea, and to propose plans to connect fragmented habitats of the site. Leopard cat is designated as an Endangered Class II species in Korea, and a few individuals have been spotted in the site. We have little knowledge on their habitat requirements, but the long-term population viability of the species at the site is doubtful. The site is a riparian open space surrounded by the Han River, built-up areas, and a limited access highway. The only remaining corridor connecting to adjacent landscape will be cut off in the near future by a canal project. We have been monitoring the site by using trace survey, telemetry, and heat sensor cameras since March 2009. The home range of the Leopard cat was determined by applying MCP rule with telemetry data observed every hour for 72 hours in every month.

Results/Conclusions The findings can be summarized as follows. First, mammals in the site include Leopard cat, water deer (Hydroptes inermis argyropus), Asian raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), wiesel (Mustela sibirica coreana), and several rodent species. Second, the size of home range of a female leopard cat was 0.24km2 ~ 1.2km2. We could not figure out that of a male Leopard cat because the individual was killed by wildlife vehicle collision (WVC) in less than two months of our monitoring. Her home range encompassed a small patches of built-up areas and bare soils and relatively large patches of forest and grass land. Third, the core habitat for the Leopard cat was traffic islands at the interchange between the expressway and a bridge over the Han River. The patches covered with grass and trees were used for resting places during day time. Fourth, only one out of six culverts was used for wildlife crossing, and the rest were impassable due to inundation. Thus the cat frequently crosses over the merging lanes during night time, which increases the probability of WVC. Fifth, safe wildlife crossings connecting habitat patches and surrounding landscape should be provided by installing fence and ledges on the bottom of culverts. The construction of a bridge type wildlife crossing over the proposed canal is proposed as a mitigation measure.