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Estimation of demography and seasonal habitat use patterns of anatolian mouflon (ovis gmelinii anatolica) in Konya Bozdag protection area using distance sampling

Özdirek, Lütfiye
The Anatolian mouflon (Ovis gmelinii anatolica) is an endemic ungulate subspecies and of IUCN Vulnerable status that inhabits Konya-Bozdag region located in Central Anatolia. In this thesis, the demography and habitat use of the only natural population of Anatolian mouflon at Konya-Bozdag Provice is studied. Throughout the study, distance sampling techniques, specifically line transect sampling, are used to estimate density, size and growth rate of this population. Sex, age and count data are used to estimate relevant parameters. Changes in population structure and seasonal area use are monitored for two years. Data is collected during repeated random line transects from May 2007 to July 2009. Line transect method is preferred since it requires less effort and is less expensive when compared to the complicated techniques that need animal marking or radio tagging. In total, 78 transect lines were surveyed during the time which covers 3 lambing periods. In spite of the paratuberculosis epidemics in the fenced area which has affected the population adversely in the previous years, a rather stable population trend is observed. The post-breeding population size in 2007, 2008 and 2009 were estimated to be 883+-241, 939+-136, 972+-243 (average+-satndard error) and densities as 27.227, and 28.186 individuals per sq km, respectively. Growth rate of population is found using the ratio of the population size estimates of consecutive years from 2007 to 2009, average 1.0495+-0.0203. Habitat use patterns of the Anatolian mouflon throughout the study period are investigated according to seasons and sex groups. There is sexual segregation in the Anatolian mouflon population in Konya Bozdag Province, with the females using the western part and males using the eastern part of Bagderesi. Seasonal patterns affect on the area use of animals, group formation and compositions and the relationship between them are searched throughout the study. The movements of the individuals and groups followed seasonal patterns as centers of activities changed according to seasons.