"Newsletter of the IUCNSSC Caprinae Specialist Group"
Caprinae Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group September 2009 present day Inner Mongolia. The These reports have shed no light on In this issue geographic coordinates (111º 30’ E, 41º whether some or all of these animals are N), where specimens were obtained by appropriately considered O. a. jubata. No evidence that the northern Roy Chapman Andrews in 1921, place Maps produced by scientists with the Chinese argali still exists …..1 this in the Daqing Shan, just north of Chinese Academy of Sciences Agrimi on Lefka Ori, Crete… 2 Hohhot. These hills, as well as those (reproduced in Shackleton 1997: 166) further south and east in Shanxi and suggest that argali in extreme northern Conservation News Hebei, are characterized by gentler Inner Mongolia (adjacent to the Hunting of Servetzov’s urial …….5 topography and more mesic vegetation Mongolian border) are considered O. a. Abstracts than the isolated ranges of the Gobi darwini, but those in central Inner Walia ibex ………………….6 Desert. This raises the possibility that O. Mongolia are O. a. jubata. (This map was a. jubata may have represented not merely mislabeled in Shackleton 1997, and later a distinct morph (Geist 1991) but a corrected by Ali 2007). A website of No evidence that the northern particular adaptation within O. ammon to China International Forest Travel states Chinese argali (Ovis ammon conditions slightly warmer and more that “Shanxi Argali (Ovis ammon jubata) still exists mesic than habitat to the north and west. jubata)…is found in an arc across Although intra-specific taxonomy Prior to our surveys, information on the northern China from Hebei and Shanxi remains disputed, most international recent status of argali in Inner Mongolia west through Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia bodies currently recognize 8 sub-species was limited to the reports of Wang and to Gansu.” However, Yu (2001), in a of argali: O. a. ammon, hodgsoni, polii, Schaller (1996) and Bu et al. (1998). The comprehensive report on argali in China, karelini, darwini, nigrimontana, first authors observed no argali did not recognize O. a. jubata as a valid severtzovi, and jubata. Of these, O. a. themselves, but reported that remnant subspecies. Although some recent jubata, remains the least studied, and its populations probably existed in the accounts (e.g., Cai 1985) mention argali status has never been thoroughly Mazong Shan, Yabrai (Yabulai) Shan, as occurring south and/or east of Inner investigated. Although given the common Helan Shan, Zhuozi Shan, and Lang Shan Mongolia (in Shaanxi, Shanxi, or Hebei), names “Northern Chinese argali” and ranges. They considered the species we know of no reports of argali persisting “Shanxi argali”, O. a. jubata has most endangered in Inner Mongolia, guessing in these provinces; provincial officials in commonly been described as being that less than 500 existed. Bu et al. (1998) Shanxi confirmed that they knew of no distributed primarily within the Chinese reported on a combination of direct reliable reports of argali in that province province of Inner Mongolia, just south of observations and interviews made during for at least 20 years (Zhu Jun, Shanxi the eastern-most distribution of O. a. the 1990s, suggesting the continued Forestry Bureau, pers. comm., March darwini. There remains considerable presence of small, isolated groups of 2009). Gong (2009) considered argali of disagreement among authors regarding the argali in various ranges throughout western Inner Mongolia’s desert mountain diagnosis, original geographic distribution, northern Inner Mongolia. More recently, range Yabrai (Yabulai) Shan to be O. a. and even the validity of the subspecies O. Gong Minghao (Department of Wildlife jubata.. However, a photograph of adult a. jubata. Lacking information to the Management, State Forestry males in breeding pelage (taken in contrary, we accept the taxonomy and Administration, Beijing) conducted a December 2005) suggested that these descriptions of Geist (1991). survey in the Yabulai Shan area where animals were O. a. darwini, not O a. The type locality for O. a. jubata is said government officials hope a future trophy- jubata (V. Geist, pers. comm.., April to be “north of Peiping [Beijing]” (Geist hunting program can be established. He 2009). 1991:719). The animals used by Geist did not observe argali directly, but Though a combination of literature (1991) in describing the subspecies interviews with local staff and review, examination of official originated from “Kwei Hua Ch’eng, photographic evidence indicated the documents, interviews with officials and Shansi”. However, this name is actually an presence of a small argali population there local residents, examination of museum obsolete reference to Hohhot (Gong 2009). specimens, and limited direct field work, (“Huhehaote” in modern pinyin), capital of we investigated the status of argali within 1 Inner Mongolia generally, and more pastoralist blamed poor vegetation Ganchimeg Wingard specifically, the status of O. a. jubata. conditions caused by a combination of Argali Research Center, Ulaanbaatar During November 15-25, 2008, we climate change and overgrazing, while visited five areas in north-central Inner another blamed poaching entirely, Bi Junhuai Mongolia: Saihantawei township (~ 42º believing that if even a single argali was Inner Mongolia Normal University, 44N, 112º 38’ E), Erenuo’ersumu (~43º known to be present that people at the Hohhot 24’N, 111º 25’E), Erenhot (~ 43º 44N, time would have made all efforts to find 112º E), Hada Shan in Sunitezuo (44º and kill it. Poaching was said to be Agrimi on Lefka Ori, Crete: 20’N, 111º 26E), and Abaga (44º 37’N, primarily for meat consumption. population status, threats 114º 08’E). During March 16-21, 2009, we As of 2009, we conclude that the visited the suspected last remaining argali reduction and fragmentation of existing and conservation. distribution area within the Lang Shan argali populations reported by Wang and region of the Yin Shan (range) in Bayan Schaller (1996) and Bu et al. (1998) The agrimi Capra sp. is, most likely, Nuo’er. We interviewed local officials and during the 1990s have continued since the feral descendant of an ancient pastoralists, assessed habitat conditions, then. Argali within Inner Mongolia are domestic breed of the goat Capra hircus and made direct surveys in the most currently restricted to extremely small which externally resembles its wild promising areas. populations in 3 areas: the Yabrai ancestor Capra aegagrus (e.g. Bar-Gal et We observed (and photographed) argali (Yubulai) Shan range, the Hada Shan area al. 2002). This animal was treated until only within the Hada Shan area of and the Erenuo’ersumu region of recently as a subspecies (C. a. cretica) and Sunitezuo Banner, at approximately Sunitezuo Banner. In all three, remnant was considered Vulnerable by IUCN 44°20′N, 111°25′E. We found a group of 7 argali appear to O. a. darwini. Argali have (CSG 1996) because of its low population females at the international border where been lost from at least two areas size and small distribution range. few pastoralists are permitted to live considered to contain remnant populations International conservation interest in these (although limited, seasonal livestock is during the 1990s by Wang and Schaller animals now mainly lies in it being a permitted). Photographs were inconclusive (1996): the Helan Shan and the Lang Shan repository of important genetic diversity, as to subspecies, but based on them as well mountain ranges. Disturbance and habitat with a potential to contribute to modern as proximity to animals in Mongolia degradation in a third area, the Mazong domestic breeds (Shackleton 1997). For considered to be O. a. darwini, we have no Shan range, has likely caused the this reason, conservation measures were reason to doubt that these animals are disappearance of argali there as well. The proposed in the 1997 IUCN Action Plan appropriately considered darwini. future of argali within Inner Mongolia for Caprinae; one recommendation was a The Lang Shan are the southwestern appears tenuous, most likely dependent on population census in its remaining native portion of the larger (but less rugged) Yin the ability of dispersing individuals from ranges in the Lefka Ori (White Shan mountains of western Inner Mongolia to supplement existing groups Mountains) of Crete. Others involved the Mongolia. Most vegetation is currently or colonize new areas. Very little habitat total elimination of feral goats and their desert scrub, with few grasses and even capable of sustaining argali populations hybrids from agrimi ranges fewer trees. Elevations of peaks are mostly remains within Inner Mongolia. (Adamakopoulos, Hablützel and in the 2000-2300 m range. Based on our Based on the information available to Hatzirvassanis 1997). informal observations, mining activity us, we believe that O. a. jubata as a During my Ph.D. research on the appears to be ubiquitous surrounding the subspecies with unique adaptations has behavior, ecology and population mountain range. Forestry and nature become extirpated. We lack evidence that dynamics of Agrimi, I spent much of a 4- reserve officials based in the city of Linhe argali remaining within Inner Mongolia year period (2004-2007) in Lefka Ori, and had no knowledge of argali anywhere in differ in any way from those inhabiting especially, in the National Forest Park of the region, but were able to direct us to the Gobi ranges of Mongolia (which are Samaria. Between April and December knowledgeable and long-term local generally considered O. a. darwini). 2004, 2006 and 2007 I conducted 45- , 21- residents. All that we interviewed agreed Although proving absence is very difficult and 36-day surveys, respectively, in that argali no longer inhabited any part of and further genetic work shedding light on various sites in the Park throughout its the Lang Shan. They differed slightly on differentiation among putative subspecies altitudinal range. A few field trips were when they believed the last argali had been is desirable, we conclude that O. a. jubata made also to the rest of Lefka Ori, observed, some suggesting that it had been no longer exists. between 2005 and 2007, in sites reputed > 30 years. A more detailed version of this report, to hold agrimi. My survey method used All pastoralists we interviewed could including photographs and maps, is either transect routes (traversed on foot), accurately identify photographs of argali, available in Adobe pdf format from the or fixed point scanning (with telescope), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and ibex senior author: email@example.com. and depended on season, terrain (Capra sibirica), and all were in accessibility and forest cover. Field signs agreement that blue sheep remained Richard B. Harris were used only as a proof of presence. numerous. We thus had no reason to doubt Department of Ecosystem and Following a brief visit to the region in the veracity of their reports. Conservation Science, University of September 2008, when I saw fewer agrimi Pastoralists we interviewed differed in Montana, Missoula than I had expected followed by some their explanation of the loss of argali. One alarming news about the population 2 earlier this year (2009), I decided to make and 2007, female kid mortality rate was The major threats to agrimi (domestic my preliminary findings known and estimated at ca. 33 %, while overall goats and poaching) were out of control outline the key targets of proposed reproductive capacity in the park was high during 2004-2007. The NP administration conservation action. in every year with more than 95% of (Forestry Service) was unable to eliminate The Samaria National Forest Park (48.5 recorded adult females lactating. In the feral goats which were seen everyday at km2) is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Samaria gorge ranges below the sub- various points between the southern which includes much of the second longest alpine zone, the observed mean rate of entrance and the center of Samaria gorge, (16 km) European gorge (Samaria), and twinning/year was 13.4%. always below 250 m. Fewer occurred at two shorter adjacent gorges (Kalokambos Based on limited data (<10 sightings) the NE corner of the Park between 900 and Pentachteni); the sides of all being but mainly on unverified information from and 1500 m. Goat numbers must not have interspersed with multiple ravines. It is local people, I estimated that no more than exceeded 40 in any year because, like characterized by steep and often 70-100 agrimi survived by late 2007 agrimi, they were exterminated by overhanging cliff walls, with elevations outside the Park, and that this number and poachers (local informants, pers. comm.; rising from 80 m (southern entrance) to local abundance had been more or less the pers. obs.). Nevertheless, they exploited 2134 m asl (Melindaou Peak). There are same over the last 50 years. These resources that could have been used by extensive and dense conifer forests individuals mainly frequented some agrimi (see Appendix). Almost all goats (Calabrian pine Pinus brutia cretica, almost inaccessible ravines, cliff walls seemed to be recent escapees (e.g., bell on Italian cypress Cupressus sempervirens and rocky peaks, but regularly used a total neck) from extensively farmed domestic horizontalis, C. s. pyramidalis) up to area of about 26.5 km2 of the Western and herds in the vicinity of the Park, but some ~1500 m, and rocky grasslands in the sub- Central Lefka Ori. According to local were 2nd or 3rd generation feral animals alpine zone. Important features are the people, in the last few years, some agrimi and in a few cases, F1 or F2 generation springs (> 22), the Tarraios river and entered cultivated land, possibly due to a hybrids with agrimi. Hybrids were also smaller streams. Access is open to visitors relative decline in natural food resources. observed in other areas of the Park, but from 1st of May to 31st of October On average therefore, during the 4-year these had very few distinguishing traits annually, while hunting or collection of study period, the total agrimi population (e.g., united eye-nose and bridge of nose any animal or plant is strictly forbidden. in Crete was about double that of the 1985 stripes). All these individuals, if still Survey data (not including unverified estimate (500; Adamakopoulos et al. present, must be removed from the Park local reports of sightings) revealed 1997). In spite of this, and despite the fact immediately. differences in abundance with altitude for that the biological potential for population Another topic that requires investigation agrimi, which, nevertheless, is spread increase is particularly high compared to is the possibility of agrimi natural throughout the park, with very rare lowland Wild Goat populations in Asia mortality (especially of < 3 year olds) due presence at daylight below 200 m asl. (e.g., Kirthar Range, Pakistan; Edge and to diseases transmitted by feral animals. If Adult males (>4 years old; Schaller and Olson-Edge 1990), the agrimi population so, veterinary examinations of livestock in Laurie 1974) were mainly concentrated appears to be in a slow decline in the the areas surrounding the Park must above 900 m asl, whereas adult female SNFP since at least 2005 (personal become more comprehensive. densities and numbers were highest below unpublished calculations). This could be Poaching, which takes place daily 700m asl; and there was evidence of due to a combination of limiting factors outside the tourist period, is the most spatial segregation between these two sex- including hybridization and resource difficult problem to solve. There are few age classes. The herd type recorded most competition with feral goats, poaching, Forest Officers in the County of Canea in often was the family group [adult (≥3+) disease, and, perhaps, food shortage (if the which the Park is located and their female with male and female offspring up Park has reached its carrying capacity). transfer to inaccessible areas to make to 2 years of age; Nicholson and Husband Of the conservation measures proposed arrests whenever poachers are detected is 1992; pers. obs.] which had a crude mode in 1997, the only one that had been extremely difficult. Moreover, poachers size of 2. The largest aggregation I adequately undertaken by 2007 is control possess very effective military weapons observed was of 34 animals of all sex-age on tourism development in the Park. (e.g. Kalashnikov, silencers, etc.), usually classes excluding adult males. According to National Park regulations in move very secretively, and refuse to In 2007, 92 agrimi (5 adult males, 42 Greece, any technical constructions that surrender unless trapped (Park Wardens, adult females, 33 kids and 12 yearling and do not support the park’s management are pers. comm.; Anon. 2009). According to sub-adult ones) were observed, and I forbidden. Fortunately, it is also extremely the Forest Directorate of Canea, since estimated the total park population at 887 dangerous for anyone to cross the Park 1983, only a few of the arrested poachers animals (including those that died in that between November and May, so access is have been sentenced (M. P. 2009). I heard year). The total estimated size was 12.5 % not allowed during this sensitive time for of 7 poaching events, of which in only one higher in 2004 and ca. 16 % lower in agrimi (reproduction - rut and gestation case was there an attempt to stop it. The 2006, indicating population fluctuations, periods). In addition, important rest were in very remote areas, and the although most sex-age ratios remained achievements have been made in the area necessary number of personnel and generally stable (Samaria gorge, 2007: 46 of fire safety in the last 5 years, with equipment for an appropriate operation adult males, 122 kids, 36 yearlings and 15 works that aesthetically fit in with the was not available. sub-adults per 100 adult females). In a environment. Agrimi is mainly killed for its meat high population density site between 2006 which is valued very highly on the Cretan 3 and Athenian “black” markets (50€/kg; residents. Furthermore, agrimi is protected in all Park and non-park designated Haralambakis 2002; Anon. 2009), and as a game species by Hellenic Legislation, areas. according to authorities of Lefka Ori which means that there was never the 5) In all the above there must be active municipalities, around 150-200 animals perceived need for a permanent hunting participation of the local societies and are killed each year in the Park mainly for ban on it. In any case, in the absence of communities. this reason (Anon. 2007). This seemingly any relevant risk assessment plan, total large number agrees approximately with protection would inevitably lead at some 6) Hunting permits must be issued only to my calculations. point to overpopulation with consequent native residents of Lefka Ori who hold Another motive for poaching is trophy damage to the surrounding agricultural voting rights there. They must be hunting. An agrimi trophy (horns, head communities (already faced in the NW allowed to sell them, through formal and fleece) is particularly expensive, and borders of its range outside the Park, see agreements, for standard prices set besides solitary poachers who bring their above). That, in the absence of enough according to analogous legal ones for friends for a “hunt” (locals, pers. comm.), natural predators sometimes requires wild goats and at no less than 5.000€ there are also well organized enterprises some form of population control by each. which, although illegal, are even humans. Fortunately, tourism does not currently advertised on the internet (Mpogatsos My suggestions to solve the problem of cause any major disturbances to the 2009). It seems, nevertheless, that Lefka poaching and ensure the survival of this animals. Visitors keep to a narrow trail Ori people are little involved in this important breed or race involve: along the floor of Samaria gorge from “business”. This year there was a €10.000 dawn until around 1700h, and are not 1) Official designation of areas outside reward offered by the Ministry of Rural allowed to make loud noises as this can the Park where agrimi are totally Development and Food for information create avalanches in winter. Some animals protected and others where it can be that will lead to the arrest of certain have become accustomed to humans and legally hunted (controlled hunting poachers, self-advertised on a website even take food from their hands; a feeding zones). Such a plan must: a) be (Mpogatsos 2009). Meanwhile, there is a tactic that the young learn beside their flexible and depend on local new move on behalf of some local people mothers. I have observed that individuals abundance and trends (i.e., agrimi who have persistently demanded the which take food from tourists show less numbers in some areas may change prevention of agrimi poaching (M. P. tolerance of humans (increased flight over the years); b) take into 2009). In the end of course, this is a matter distance) under certain circumstances (e.g. consideration the hunting tradition of of political will, which also depends on away from regular visitor areas, outside local communities, and private land how the Park’s budget priorities are the tourist season and after visitor hours). ownership, and c) consider the fact classified. Such behaviour is probably not a problem, that, once protected, the population In September 2008 at the main Warden but there might be concern over the will likely expand its range. Post, I observed the fleeces and heads of a increased degree of dependence on young male and an aged (10+) female left 2) It must be ensured that there are no humans for food for some individual hanging by poachers, having been killed reintroductions, and recolonisation of agrimi. before the tourist season. According to historical range (e.g., Mt. Ida) should On the other hand, a relatively recent Wardens, the same persons had also be by natural spread only. In this way, custom of many visitors, which is often vandalized certain Forestry Service recolonisation will have more chances encouraged by certain travel guide authors installations. During a brief Park survey in of being successful because agrimi and visitor escorts (through web sites), is that month, many of the 2007 animals social structure will not be negatively the creation of so-called stone cairns, were unaccountably missing, while there influenced by an unnatural mixture of usually 20-40cm high with at least a 10 were also fewer signs of agrimi presence original founders chosen by humans. cm base diameter. The average density of (droppings). these constructions (5/m2) results in much 3) The total protection status currently Clearly, improved anti-poaching of the dry river bed parts close to trail measures are urgently required. One aspect provided by the Park may also need to being covered each year. These structures that must be kept in mind with respect to be examined after the effects of a can impede the agrimi’s ability to run hypothetical agrimi increase on any relevant conservation plans is that across such terrain when they need to, agrimi hunting has very old roots with the endangered flora are evaluated. Some increase the risk of injury. Cairn making animal having likely been introduced or scientifically approved population is an activity that must be stopped not regulation management action might released into the wild 8 millennia ago only for agrimi safety but also because it (Bar-Gal et al. 2002) most probably for be needed in the future. alters the natural landscape and the this reason. Its hunting has always been 4) The conservation measure of patrolling habitats of smaller organisms. Both hand part of the historically known Cretan against poachers suggested in the 1997 feeding and stone removal are not allowed culture, while there are, albeit usually IUCN Action Plan (Adamakopoulos et by National Park Legislation because they neglected, ethical empirical rules that al. 1997) should be implemented are “interventions with the geological traditionally aimed at a sustainable through the creation of a special Body formations and the fauna” and there are harvest. In fact, the first conservation of Forest Officers, Game Keepers and legal penalties for such acts. moves in the previous century were Guards who will also be responsible In conclusion, the Cretan Agrimi although initiated by some perceptive Lefka Ori for monitoring and regulating hunting still Vulnerable D1+2 (IUCN 2001 4 version 3.1 criteria), was in a much better Edge, W.D. & S.L., Olson-Edge. 1990. he waited for 2 argali which were chased state in the mid 2000s than at about a Population characteristics and group towards him by rangers of the reserve, quarter of a century ago. Conservation composition of Capra aegagrus in then he shot one ram. Over the last 2 efforts must, nevertheless, not be relaxed Kirthar National Park, Pakistan. Journal years, Uzbek authorities have not issued because conditions can deteriorate of Mammalogy 71(2): 156 – 160. any export permits for this endangered significantly due to various and constant Haralambakis, D. 2002. Speaking with wild sheep (listed in CITES Appendix 2 threats. It should be noted that agrimi has Antonis Plimakis. Minima 10 as an urial, Ovis ammon severtzovi). Thus, served as an “umbrella” species in (December). www.minima- it is possible that the Bulgarian president conservation management in the Park. The hania.gr/10/interview.htm. Downloaded exported the trophy without a CITES SNFP was established in 1962 mainly for on 8 July 2008 [in Greek]. permit. A hunting permit was issued by its protection, but many other taxa IUCN 2007. Capra hircus. European the Cabinet of Ministers, but likely for the threatened with extinction find refuge Mammal Assessment Retrieved 02 forestry area (leskhoz), not for the there. February, 2008, from territory of the reserve, where hunting is http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/ generally prohibited. It should be noted Acknowledgements conservation/species/ema. that Bulgaria is a ember of the European Many Lefkorites helped with the survey M. P. 2009. The protection of the Cretan Union and as such is a signatory to project, mainly by giving information. On Wild Goat is necessary. Kirikas numerous wildlife conventions including the most difficult transect routes, I was newspaper 3/6/2009. www.kirikas.net CITES. guided or directed by the local seasonal Downloaded on 9 August 2009 [in Park Wardens, Mr. A. Pentaris, Mr. E. Greek]. Under appropriate circumstances, trophy Marakas, Mr. E. Nikoloudis, Mr. E. Mpogatsos, K. 2009. Wild safari with kri- hunting can generate substantial funds and Marinakis and Mr. G. Sergakis. Dr David kri heads as trophies. Eleftheros Tipos provide incentives for the protection of Mallon commented on the report. Cretans newspaper 30/5/2009 [in Greek]. endangered species and the ecosystems who wish to remain anonymous, privately Nicholson, M. C. & T.P. Husband. 1992. they inhabit. In the Nuratau reserve, funded my travel and other expedition Diurnal behavior of the Agrimi Capra however, trophy hunting has negative expenses. To all of these I am very aegagrus. Journal of Mammalogy impacts on the argali population and its grateful. 73(1): 135-142. habitat, far beyond the impact of the take Schaller, G.B. and A. Laurie. 1974. off of a single old ram. The only References Courtship behavior of the wild goat. Z. remaining viable population of this Adamakopoulos, T., Hablützel, C. & V. Saugetierkunde 39(2): 115 – 127. subspecies (last estimates about 1,500 Hatzirvassanis. 1997. Greece: Agrimi or Shackleton, D. M. (ed.) 1997. Wild sheep animals) is restricted to the reserve and it Cretan wild goat (Capra aegagrus and goats and their relatives: Status is under pressure from poaching, habitat cretica). In: Wild sheep and goats and survey and conservation action plan for degradation and competition by livestock. their relatives. Status survey and the Caprinae. IUCN, Gland, No funds from international trophy conservation action plan for the Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. hunting are allocated for protection of Caprinae. Shackleton, D. M. (ed.). Severtzov's argali and/or for local IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Alkiviadis Fil. Geskos development in the communities suffering Cambridge, UK. Wildlife Biologist-Environmentalist from land-use restrictions by the reserve. Anonymous 2007. Unguarded gorge: Dimarchou Georgiadou 135 Poaching and illegal grazing are rampant Poaching threats the rare “kri-kri” of PC 38221 and trophy hunting by outsiders in the past Crete. In: in.gr News 12/3/2007. Bolos motivated local poachers to increase www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID GREECE hunting intensity, an activity which is =786396. Downloaded on 3 April 2007 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org broadly accepted by other local people. It [in Greek]. is said that international trophy hunting is Anonymous 2009. The Cretan Wild Goat organized by the Agency for hunting, is being exterminated on Lefka Ori. Conservation News protected areas and national parks under Haniotika Nea newspaper 11/5/2009 [in the Main Department for Forestry, Greek]. President of Bulgaria kills an belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture Bar-Gal, K. G., Smith, P., Tchernov, E., endangered Severtzov’s and Water Management of the Republic Greenblatt, C., Ducos, P., Gardeisen, A. argali in a supposedly of Uzbekistan. Before any hunting & L. K., Horwitz. 2002. Genetic tourism and CITES permits for evidence for the origin of the agrimi protected area in Uzbekistan Severtzov’s argali are accepted, it should goat (Capra aegagrus cretica). Journal be necessary that the Uzbek authorities of Zoology, London 256: 369-377. According to information provided by the made significant efforts that result in real Caprinae Specialist Group 1996. Capra Deputy Director of the Nuratau State improvements in the protection of the aegagrus ssp. cretica. In: IUCN 2007. Strict Reserve (Nuratinskiy Zapovednik) Nuratau reserve and initiate a sustainable 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened in Uzbekistan, on 7 November 2008, the hunting management scheme outside the Species www.iucnredlist.org. President of Bulgaria visited the reserve. reserve, ideally involving local Downloaded on 8 February 2008. At the central mountain peak Hayat Bashi community members. 5 population genetics, and ecological A free copy Adobe Acrobat Reader can be Stefan Michel modelling) to evaluate the evolutionary downloaded from: Nature Protection Team history and conservation status of Capra http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/ Khorog, Tajikistan walie, an endangered flagship species of readstep.html e-mail: email@example.com wild goat endemic to Ethiopia. The analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome b and Y chromosome DNA sequences Notice to Contributors Submissions of articles, including suggests that C. walie forms a Abstracts & recent monophyletic clade with C. nubiana, but research reports, conservation news, publications recent publications, etc., on wild or has been isolated for about 0.8 million feral Caprinae, are welcome from any Combining genetic and ecological years from this closely related species. professional biologist. A potential author data to assess the conservation Microsatellite DNA analyses show that C. does not have to be a member of the status of the endangered Ethiopian walie has very low genetic variation Caprinae Specialist Group. Please send Walia ibex (mean heterozygosity = 0.35) compared to submissions to the Editor for Berihun Gebremedhin1*, Gentile other endangered mammals. This reduced consideration, preferably via e-mail Francesco Ficetola2,3, Saeid Naderi2,4, variation likely derives from a prolonged attachment – to: Hamid-Reza Rezaei2,5 , Célia Maudet2, demographic decline and small effective firstname.lastname@example.org. Delphine Rioux2, Gordon Luikart6, population size. Ecological niche Øystein Flagstad7, Wilfried Thuiller2, modelling using the bioclimatic features Pierre Taberlet2 of habitats occupied by C. walie, suggests CSG Web Site ecological differences between C. walie http://pages.usherbrooke.ca/mfesta/iucnw 1 Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and C. nubiana, and identifies the areas ork.htm (IBC), P.O. Box 30726, Addis Ababa, most suitable for future reintroductions of Ethiopia. C. walie. The genetic and bioclimatic data 2 suggest that C. walie is distinct and Editorial Note Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine, CNRS Views expressed in the articles in this requires immediate conservation actions UMR 5553, Universit Joseph Fourier, newsletter, do not necessarily reflect including genetic monitoring and BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 09, France. reintroductions to establish independent those of the Caprinae Specialist Group 3 Department of Environmental Sciences, populations. This study illustrates how University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy. combining noninvasive sampling along 4 Natural Resources Faculty, University of with genetic and ecological (bioclimatic) Guilan, Guilan, Iran. approaches can help assess conservation 5 Environmental Sciences Department, status of poorly known species. Gorgan University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran. Keywords: conservation unit, 6 Centro de Investigacion em demography, genetic diversity, Biodiversidade e Recursos Geneticos microsatellites, mitochondrial DNA, Y (CIBIO-UP), and Universidade do Porto, chromosome, noninvasive sampling, 4485-661 Vair , Portugal; and Division phylogeny, population decline, realized of Biological Sciences, University of niche. Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, U.S.A. 7 Norwegian Institute for Nature Research This article will be published as the (NINA), Tungasletta 2, NO-7005 Featured Paper in Animal Conservation, Trondheim, Norway. Volume 12 Issue 2 (April 2009). To read the article in full, please use the following *Corresponding author: Berihun link Gebremedhin. Institute of Biodiversity http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journ Conservation (IBC), P.O.20 Box 30726, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Email: al/117969966/home" email@example.com Newsletter Subscriptions Abstract Knowledge about the phylogenetic history, Adobe Acrobat versions of the newsletter genetic variation and ecological are sent to all CSG members via e-mail. requirements of a species is important for All other interested parties can download its conservation and management. a free Adobe Acrobat (pdf) version free Unfortunately, for many species this from the CSG website. information is lacking. Here we use http://callisto.si.usherb.ca:8080/caprinae/ multiple approaches (phylogenetics, iucnwork.htm 6