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Population Structure of Blue Sheep (Pseudios nayaur) in Shimshal Valley Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan

Population Structure of Blue Sheep (Pseudios nayaur) in Shimshal Valley Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan

Romaan Hayat Khattak1,3, Hussain Ali1, Ejaz Ur Rehman1 and 
Muhammad Ali Nawaz1, 2*

1Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Bio-Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
2Snow Leopard Trust, Pakistan Program, Islamabad, Pakistan
3College of Wildlife Resources, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, P. R. China.

*      Corresponding author: nawazma@gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT

Blue sheep is a key species and found in Tibetan Plateau and the bordering massif through Central Asia. In Pakistan the distribution range of species is restricted to higher altitude areas of Northern Areas including Khunjerab and Shimshal. The present study was conducted from 25 September 2014 to 23 October 2014, to estimate the population size of blue sheep in Shimshal and Socterabad Community Controlled Hunting Areas, by employing recently developed double observer-based Capture Mark Recapture method (CMR). A population of 834 ±356 were estimated in Shimshal and Socterabad CCHAs, with an estimated density of 0.6 sheep/km2. The present study showed a female-biased sex ratio (80 male/100 females), probably due to ongoing trophy hunting. The young to female ratio (0.5) indicated ongoing recruitment of young. The trophy hunting operates on a sustainable use approach, as limited animals are harvested to generate economic revenues for poor mountain communities, which in turn protects the entire population and associated ecosystem from illegal massive hunting. The present study successfully tested CMR method, and produced reliable and accurate estimate of the population, which could help in determining sustainable trophy quota.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

April

Vol. 52, Iss. 2, Pages 425-824

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