On the status and biology of the Wild goat in Daghestan (Russia)

P. Weinberg


Wild goat (Capra aegagrus, Erxleben 1777) was studied in Daghestan,which includes about 2/3 of the isolated North Caucasian part of the species range. The species distribution covers the upper halves of the Avar Koisu and Andi Koisu riverbasins. Wild goats inhabit montane forests partly sharing them with the East Caucasian tur (Capra cylindricornis, Blyth 1841). Population density averages 8-10 animals per km2. Not less than 1500 wild goats live in Daghestan and presumably have been in decline during the last decennaries. Overall mean group size is only 3.3 (± 0.2 s.e.). Rut lasts from mid-December till the end of January, while birth season takes place from mid-June till mid-July. Both reproductive periods are the latest ones all over the species range and partly overlap with those of the sympatric tur. Twins are common and fecundity is noticeably higher than in other conspecific populations and in tur. Wild goats live in close and constant neighbourhood with people in Daghestan and undergo heavy anthropogenic impact which could have shaped the biology of the local wild goat population characterized by intensive reproduction, preference of dense forest stands and secretiveness.

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Journal of Mountain Ecology
The Journal of Mountain Ecology is an OPEN ACCESS peer reviewed journal published by the Gran Paradiso National Park.