Editor-in-Chief: Denys, Christiane
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Distribution, population size, and structure of Himalayan grey goral Naemorhedus goral bedfordi (Cetartiodactyla: Bovidae) in Pakistan
Himalayan grey goral (Naemorhedus goral bedfordi) is a Red List (Near Threatened) member of Caprinae endemic to Asia, occupying the south-facing slopes of the Himalaya Mountains. The species is listed as Vulnerable on the National Pakistan Red List, but the distribution and abundance of the species within the nation is poorly known. We conducted a national census of Himalayan grey goral in Pakistan during 2002–2004, with the objective of documenting the geographic locations of populations, estimating population size, and describing group sizes and sex ratios. We conducted a direct count census in 98 sites distributed over the 4839 km2 of suitable grey goral habitat. We counted 172 unique grey goral individuals: 143 adults and 29 subadults. We estimated a minimum of 370–1017 grey goral in Pakistan distributed in seven isolated populations. The adult sex ratio was female-biased nearly 2:1, and the mean size of social groups was 1.72±0.11 SE individuals. Our data support the National Red List status of Himalayan grey goral as Vulnerable, because no subpopulation probably contains >1000 individuals. We are unable to account for the sex ratio bias. Social group size is comparable with contemporary observations from India, but much lower than that reported a century ago. A national population viability analysis is needed for this species.