Estimation of roe deer Capreolus capreolus and mouflon Ovis aries densities, abundance and habitat use in a mountainous Mediterranean area

TitleEstimation of roe deer Capreolus capreolus and mouflon Ovis aries densities, abundance and habitat use in a mountainous Mediterranean area
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsTsaparis, D, Katsanevakis S, Stamouli C, Legakis A
JournalActa Theriologica
Volume53
Issue1
Pages87-94
Abstract

The abundance, density, and habitat use of roe deer Capreolus capreolus (Linnaeus, 1758) and mouflon Ovis aries Linnaeus, 1758 were studied in a confined Mediterranean area in Greece with a dung survey based on the faecal accumulation rate (FAR) technique. Estimated density was modelled with generalized additive models using altitude, habitat type, and slope as potential covariates. Model selection among the set of candidate models was conducted based on their generalized cross-validation score. Roe deer had an estimated mean density of 13.9 ind./km2 and the best model included slope and habitat type as covariates. The mean density of mouflon in the study area was 22.1 ind./km2 and the best model used altitude and habitat type as covariates. For both species, the highest densities were encountered in abandoned cultivations and glades, followed by conifer forests, while the lowest densities were observed in maquis. However, use of open habitats by mouflon was much greater than it was for roe deer. The strong preference of mouflon (a grazer species) for open habitats that were abundant with grasses probably reflected food availability and contrasted with the more diverse habitat use by roe deer (a selective browser).

DOI10.1007/BF03194281

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