Olga Yu. Zaumyslova, PhD., Researcher of the Sikhote-Alin State Nature Biosphere Reserve; Russia, 692150, Primorye Krai, Terney district, Terney, Partizanskaya Street, 44; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Svetlana N. Bondarchuk, Researcher of the Sikhote-Alin State Nature Biosphere Reserve; Russia, 692150, Primorye Krai, Terney district, Terney, Partizanskaya Street, 44; e-mail: email@example.com
The Long-tailed goral (Naemorhedus caudatus) is a rare mountain ungulate animal species with a mosaic range. In the Sikhote-Alin Reserve, the goral is located at the northern limit of its distribution. The main part of its population is concentrated in the coastal area, in the Abrek natural landmark. In the early XX century, the goral occupied another small area along the coast – 20 km south of the Abrek natural landmark. Currently, the total area of species' habitats is only 7.1 km2. The aim of this study was to assess the population size, population density and some demographic parameters of the goral population. Also, we aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the photo-trap method which is a new approach to the study and monitoring of this rare species. Accounting studies in the Abrek natural landmark were carried out in October 2014 – January 2015 (1401 trap-days); also, at the same time we worked in the second area during three seasons (2014–2017, 1326 trap-days). Estimation of the abundance and annual survival of the goral has been carried out using stochastic «capture – recapture» models presented in the software MARK. In the Abrek natural landmark for an effective area of 4 km2 (63% of this habitat's area), the average density of the goral population was 15.4 animals per km2 (CI 95% = 14.6–18.2 individuals per km2), in the second area (0.7 km2) completely accounted – 21.0 individuals per km2 (CI 95% = 20.1–28.6 individuals per km2). The total abundance of goral individuals in the Reserve remains, apparently, at the level of the late 1980s. And currently it is about 110–140 individuals. According to our preliminary data, the total annual survival in the first year was 0.73 (CI 95% = 0.41–0.91), and by the end of the second year it was 0.72 (CI 95% = 0.31–0.93). Female animals have prevailed in the population structure, and the sex ratio for adult animals was 1:1.5. The fertility rate was 0.61. In comparison with the data obtained in the late 1970s, currently the age and sex structure of the goral population has changed somewhat, and the rate of reproduction has decreased. The use of photo-traps significantly improves the quality of the goral population monitoring. However, photo-trap monitoring is a fairly expensive and time-consuming process. So it is advisable to apply this method in habitats which are most important for conservation of this rare species.
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