Estimation of ungulate population density in Kazakhstan: Case study from foothill ecosystems

Cukor J., Havránek F., Sokolov S., Skoták V., Hambálková L., Ševčík R., Vacek Z., Nurseitov D. (2022): Estimation of ungulate population density in Kazakhstan: Case study from foothill ecosystems. J. For. Sci., 68: 452–458.

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Data on wildlife abundance is an important indicator both for the species concerned and the stability of entire ecosystems as well as for sustainable game management. Therefore, the abundance of ungulate game was verified in a foothill region of Kazakhstan. The methods of thermal imagery and faecal pellet group (FPG) census on transects were compared. The results obtained by the FPG counting method for moose (Alces alces, 0.34 individuals per 100 ha) and maral deer (Cervus elaphus sibiricus, 0.04 individuals per 100 ha) were relatively consistent with the data reported by the hunting ground tenants. Only one moose was detected by the thermal imaging transect count method. The results show that deer and moose abundance in Kazakhstan is significantly lower than in Central and Eastern Europe. Thus, for Kazakhstan, the method of FPG counting is well applicable for both routine and control counts. Detailed data on game populations can be obtained using the camera trap counting method, which has not been verified in Kazakhstan as yet.

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