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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66-70

The Assessment of Carrying-Capacity of Persian Gazelle in Sorkh-E-Hesar National Park, Iran


1 Department of Environment and Energy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Environment Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
3 J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Georg-August-University of Gottingen, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Elmira Kazemi Jahandizi
PhD student, Department of Environment and Energy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2423-7752.170590

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Introduction: Understanding food resources of large herbivores and their interactions with habitat is crucial for effective wildlife conservation in arid environments. However, the carrying capacity (CC) value may be influenced by a variety of human-induced perturbations, e.g., habitat fragmentation and potential competitors. The goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) inhabits a wide range of semi-desert and desert habitats in Iran. Materials and Methods: To estimate the CC of the species in Sorkh-e-Hesar National Park (SHNP), four different habitats were surveyed during the winter period in 2011-2012. The grazing behavior was recorded by direct observations. The grazing spots were identified and studied for vegetation types in 6 sites. In total, 80 plots and 10 T-square random points were sampled. Results: About 15 herbal species were identified in gazelle diet, with the main contribution of the family Poaceae. Dry weight and density of herbal species preferred by the gazelle were estimated. Moreover, the nutritional CC of the habitats and available forage during the winter period was determined using the cutting-weighting technique. The CC value of the goitered gazelle population was estimated as 56-107 individuals over 91.68 km 2 (0.62-1.17 individuals/km 2 ), which was estimated with the inclusion and exclusion of competitive herbivorous species, respectively.


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