The scale of anthropogenic transformation of the Caucasian chamois population is shown based on the example of a local grouping of chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra caucasica Lydekker 1910) from the Lagonaki Plateau (northwestern Caucasus). It has been established that the theoretical area of the range of the local chamois grouping under study is 58000 ha and the fodder capacity is 45 individuals/1000 ha. The actual area of the range is currently approximately 20000 ha, thereby having decreased by 66% over the last 100 years. At the present time, the density of the grouping does not exceed five individuals/1000 ha; i.e., it is nine times lower than its theoretically possible value. No positive dynamics of the population is observed, despite the nature reserve status of this area over the past 23 years. It has been concluded that the metapopulation structure of chamois is gradually simplified and the prospect of the long-term conservation of the species in the northwestern Caucasus is under threat.
Biology Bulletin – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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