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Title: Ecology and conservation of mountain ungulates in Ladakh, India.
Author: Mallon, David Paul.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3617 6508
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 1998
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Research was carried out in a 15,000 km2 study area in central Ladakh, India. The study area is Transhimalayan in character with ecological affinities to Tibet and Central Asia. The main study species were Ladakh urial Ovis vignei, bharal Pseudois nayaur and Himalayan ibex Capra sibirica, with additional data collected on two species occurring marginally within the study area, argali Ovis ammon and kiang Equus klang. Distributions were mapped in detail. Distribution of urial was restricted to a band along the Indus valley and its tributaries. Bharal and ibex were widely distributed and apparently share the study area. Bharal occur in the eastern part of the Zanskar Range and across the eastern plateau of Ladakh. Ibex occur mainly in the western part of the Zanskar range, along the northern slopes of the Himalayan range and the southern slopes of the Ladakh range. Argali and kiang occur across eastern Ladakh and just reach the eastern edge of the study area; both have occasionally established a presence farther west. Current estimated numbers in the study area were: 500-700 urial; 6,000-10,000 bharal, 3150-6150 ibex, <50 kiang and c. 12 argali. Urial use even terrain between 3000-4250m and avoid areas with cliffs. Ibex and bharal both use altitudes up to 5000m and prefer broken, more rugged terrain which they use as escape cover. Discriminant function analysis showed a clear differentiation between urial habitat and that of ibex and bharal, but a substantial overlap in the habitat used by ibex and bharal. The habitat preferences recorded are similar to what is known of other Caprini species. The ungulate community consisted of three main species, each occupying separate parts of the study area. The abrupt boundary between the distributions of ibex and bharal was examined in the framework of parapatry theory. Conservation prospects for mountain ungulates in the study area are currently satisfactory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Caprins; Himalaya