Population Dynamics Factors of Ungulates and Wolves of the Saratov Region in the 21st Century


The paper is devoted to studying of the relations between the formation of “private” hunting grounds, the increase in the density of ungulates and the decline in the numbers of wolves, and the role of other factors determining the abundance of these game animals. Six ungulate species constantly live in the Saratov Region, namely: the elk (Alces alces L.), the red deer (Cervus elaphus L.), the axis deer (Cervus nippon Temminck), the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.), the Tartarian roe (Capreolus pygargus Pallas), and the wild boar (Sus scrofa L.). All these species, except the red deer, are commercial. The roe deer is a rare species listed in the Red Data Book of the Saratov Region. The population dynamics of the ungulates and wolf in the described region was studied using winter field records and official data on animals shooting for the period from 2001 till 2018. The abundance of all the ungulate species for this period has increased significantly, whilst the numbers of wolves, on the contrary, have decreased. The influence of several factors, both natural and anthropogenic, on the population dynamics of the mentioned species was analyzed. First of all, the impact of official hunting on the game species was considered. Of all the factors examined, only one influenced directly the population dynamics of wild ungulates in the Saratov region at the beginning of this century. The very strong direct correlation between the increase in the area of hunting grounds assigned to private hunting managers, and the increase in the numbers of wild un-gulates undoubtedly speaks for their causal relationship.


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