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Identification of demographic structure and population viability analysis of Gazella subgutturosa in Şanliurfa

Çobanoğlu, Aziz Emre
Goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) is an Asian antelope species and it is classified as Vulnerable by IUCN. They have an economic, esthetic and cultural value; therefore, they had been hunted and domesticated for a long time. Additional human disturbance over years nearly led goitered gazelle populations in Turkey to extinction. Today in Turkey, only natural population of goitered gazelle lives in Şanlurfa. In this theses, demographic structure and population parameters of natural population goitered gazelle in Şanlıurfa is studied. Line transect and regular surveys are performed to collect data about demographic structure of the population such as sex ratio and group composition. Line transect sampling, which is a distance sampling technique, is used to estimate population size and density of the population. GPS collared goitered gazelles are monitored for fecundity and survival rate. Data is collected for 18 from July 2008 to December 2009 during 32 field surveys. Four main transect samplings have been performed and including transect samplings that are done during regular surveys, 90 line transects are walked. Population sizes and densities were estimated to be (average ± standard error) 242 ± 184 and 2.302 ± 1.590 individual per km2 for July 2008; 365 ± 179 and 3.476 ± 1.707 individual per km2 for January 2009; 319 ± 111 and 3.039 ± 1.059 individual per km2 for June 2009 and lastly, 317 ± 243 and 3.019 ± 2.315 for November 2009. Survival rate is estimated to be 0.276, 0.540 and 0.585 for calves, 1 year old and 2+ years olds respectivelty, and fecundity is estimated to be 0.4. This preliminary study shows that according to Population Viability Analysis results, natural goitered gazelle population in Turkey will be extinct in next 10 years if more effective conservation is not performed.