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Determination of home range size and habitat selection of Gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa) by GPS telemetry in Şanliurfa

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2010
Durmuş, Mustafa
Goitered gazelle is one of the threatened species of Turkey living in only ġanlıurfa region. In this study, goitered gazelles have been released to their previous habitat in Şanlıurfa-Suruç region and seven of females were collared with GPS collars. These individuals were monitored for a year and their seasonal habitat selection and home range sizes are determined by using location data recorded on the collars. In addition to 4 seasons of the year, home range and habitat selection are estimated for mating and calving periods. Also, summer period is divided to two as summer1 and summer 2 because of changing availability of water resources in study area. Seasonal home range sizes of GPS collared gazelles are estimated as average 3.61 ± 0.47 km2 for winter, 3.96 ± 0.44 km2 for spring, 4.55 ± 1.35 km2 for summer1, 2.26 ± 0.20 km2 for summer2, 3.38 ± 0.44 km2 for autumn, 1.37 ± 0.50 km2 for mating season, and 1.66 ± 0.50 km2 for calving season.Seven habitat variable layers were prepared for the evaluation of seasonal habitat selection of GPS collared female gazelles. Gazelles were selected east aspects in summer and west aspects in winter seasons and, north and flat aspects were avoided in all seasons for a year. Water can be considered the key habitat variable for the goitered gazelles. The results show that some home ranges are outside of the protected area and gazelles do not use large areas in the protected area. In order to improve conservation of gazelles, protected area should be re-arranged and shifted to more intensely used areas by gazelles.