- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
The long-tailed goral (Nemorhaedus caudatus) is a rare montane ungulate species with a patchy distribution. In the Sikhote-Alin Reserve, gorals occupy the northern part of their range, concentrated primarily in a small coastal area (6.4 km2 ) in Abrek Urochishe. Our pilot study tested the feasibility of individual photo-identification of gorals and population size estimation using the capture–recapture method. We used 10 camera traps spaced 0.6–2 km apart on coastal slopes to monitor the gorals. Four additional cameras were placed at the Reserve boundaries, mainly for law enforcement purposes, such as documenting trespassers. Between June 1 and December 31, 2013, we collected nearly 3000 photographs of gorals, 500 photographs of other wildlife, and 12 images of illegal activities within the Reserve. The total sampling effort was 1870 camera days. Photo data showed that goral horns are reliable biometric identifiers, distinguishable by size, shape, pattern, and the number of rings. The proportion of individually identified gorals in our photos was 0.64 (SE = 0.05). Most individuals (45) were marked (i.e., first detected on camera) in the fall; therefore, preliminary estimates of the goral population size were made between October 11 and December 20, 2013. A closure test confirmed that the population was, in fact, closed (z = −2.670, P = 0.004). The best-fit closed population multiple recapture model for our data was the heterogeneity model Mh (programme CAPTURE), which assumes an unequal capture probability (χ2 = 112.19; d.f. = 9; P = 0.000). The average goral capture probability was 0.16, and the corresponding population size was estimated at 90 individuals (SE = 6.91; 95% CI: 77–125 individuals). The average goral population density in a 3.5 km2 effective sampled area (56% of the entire plot area) was 25 individuals/km2 (SE = 5.62). Extrapolation to locations that lacked data suggests that Abrek Urochishe supports a goral population of 160 individuals. Our results demonstrate that camera trap data can be used for photographic capture–recapture sampling of goral populations. This approach may be more effective than traditional visual surveys of montane ungulates that tend to underestimate the population abundance. The use of camera traps will undoubtedly enhance goral monitoring efforts, aiding in the conservation of this rare species.
A number of studies with the primary objective as the inventory of fauna provide data on the distribution, relative abundance and activity of gorals and were obtained with camera traps (Bhattacharya et al., 2012; Liu et al., 2013). However, estimates of the absolute abundance of this species using this method have not yet been performed. The results obtained in our pilot study demonstrate that the “capture–recapture” method can be used for the photo survey of long-tailed goral populations. Individual differences of goral horns, such as the size, shape, pattern and a number of rings, can be natural identification markers. Earlier studies of goral ecology and behaviour at the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve also indicate this (Myslenkov and Voloshina, 1989).