INTEGRATION OF INTRODUCED MOUFLONS WITH THE LOCAL POPULATION IN THE SUDETY MOUNTAINS

Bogusław Bobek, Witold Frąckowiak, Jakub Furtek, Dorota Merta

Abstract


The research was carried out in the Sowie Mountains that are located in central part of the Sudety Mountains (South-western Poland). In 1902, 5 mouflons Ovis aries musimon were brought from Slovakia into this region. Over years there was an increase in population size until it reached 778 animals in 1995. Changes in improper proper development of horns have been noticed for a long time. The older the males were the more curved horns they had, which eventually started to stab into the animal’s neck. This process eliminated older animals and it was suggested that inbreeding is the main reason. In order to increase genetic variability it was decided to introduce more mouflons from Slovakia and Czech Republic. Between 2002 and 2004, 76 mouflons were bought and placed to reproduce in three enclosures located in the Bielawa (Forest District Świdnica, n=1) and the Jemna (Forest District Bardo Śląskie, n=2). In June 2006 mouflons from both enclosures (n= 177) were released. All released animals were given ear tags and 10 females and 10 males got radio collars produced by Televilt. In the following years location of animals was registered through telemetry receivers. The results suggest that released mouflons colonized the area of 850 ha near the Bielawa enclosure and 690 ha near the Jemna enclosure. The animals were located max. 1.0 km - 3.1 km from the enclosures apart from one male that was found 9.1 km away from the original enclosure. The average home range of males was 287.5 ha whereas for females it was 175.0 ha. After 4 years 19 out of 20 animals were still alive. Forest area in the Sowie Mountains inhabited by local population of mouflons comprise surface of 26600 ha. The degree of integration of released animals with the local mouflons was low as they occupied only 5.8% of range distribution of local population. Eight years after the introduction no essential improvements were seen in the horns of the harvested rams, probably because of high population density which amounted to 68.8 animals/1000 ha.

Keywords


mouflon, southwestern Poland, introduction, home range, dispersal, radio tracking

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15679/bjwr.v1i1.16

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ISSN: 2335-0113

Publisher: Visio Mundi Academic Media Group

Creative Commons License
This journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.