New Article to the Bibliography


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Title: Using double-observer surveys to monitor urial and ibex populations in the Hindu Kush of Wakhan National Park, Afghanistan

Author: Moheb, Z., Rajabi, A. M., Jahed, N., Ostrowski, S., Zahler, P. I., Fuller, T. K.

Abstract: We surveyed the urial Ovis vignei and Siberian ibex Capra sibirica in the Hindu Kush mountain range of Wakhan National Park in north-eastern Afghanistan to determine their population status and identify potential drivers of population change. We conducted two double- observer ground surveys, in April–May 2015 and 2018, in 10 areas (total = 288 km2). Urial herds were mostly com- posed of both sexes (78% of observed herds), the mean adult sex ratio (females:males) was 100:70, and the mean female:juvenile ratio was 100:53. In 2018 we calculated a urial density of 35/100 km2, compared to 72/100 km2 in 2015. Ibex herds were mostly (79%) composed of both sexes, the mean adult sex ratio (females:males) was 100:103, and the mean female:juvenile ratio was 100:58. Ibex density estimates were similar in 2015 and 2018 (c. 250/100 km2). We discuss the usefulness of the double-observer methods for ungulate surveys, highlight the value of viewshed calculations and discuss the possibl
e causes of urial population decline. To ensure the conservation of these ungulate populations, we recommend continued regular monitoring, measures to address poaching and research to clarify the taxonomical status of urials in Wakhan.


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