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Valdez, R., Michel, S., Subbotin, A., Klich, D. (). Status and population structure of a hunted population of Marco Polo Argali Ovis ammon polii (Cetartiodactyla, Bovidae) in Southeastern Tajikistan. Mammalia, 80(1), 49–57.
Abstract: Marco Polo sheep (Ovis ammon polii), listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List, were surveyed using vehicles during three summers and three consecutive winters to determine the status and population structure of the subspecies in a hunted population in southeastern Pamirs, Tajikistan. A total of 8649, 8392, and 7663 sheep were observed in each winter survey with densities of 5.42,
4.91, and 4.49 argalis/km2, respectively. The differences in numbers observed in different years were probably due principally to differing dates of surveys among years. The high ratios of lamb for every 100 ewe (53, 38, and 49 during the winter surveys, and 60, 45, and 58 during the summer
surveys) and high percentages (45%–50%) of mature females during winter indicate that offspring recruitment is sufficient to maintain a stable population. The significant
increase in the abundance of Marco Polo sheep in the Tajikistan Pamirs compared with that of previous population surveys may probably be attributed to low numbers of domestic livestock during the winter, low human population density, unfenced and widespread wild sheep habitats,
and rigorous patrolling to limit poaching. The small number (45) of hunting permits has a minimal impact on the male sheep sector. Tajikistan now supports more argali than any other country
Keywords: Pamirs; status; sustainable use; Tajikistan; trophy hunting.