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CRANIOMETRIC INDICES OF SAIGA ANTELOPE (SAIGATATARICA) OF THE ASCANIA NOVA SUBPOPULATION UNDER CONDITIONS OF SEMI-FREE MAINTENANCE IN THE RESERVE «ASCANIA NOVA»

E.P. Stekleniov1, V.O. Smagol1, 2

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1Biosphere reserve «Askania-Nova», Frounze street, 13, Ascania Nova, Chaplinsky district, Khersonskaya province, Ukraine, 75230;

 

²The I. I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

 

Bohdana Khmelnytskoho St., 15, Kiev 01601, Ukraine

 

 

 Investigation of craniometric indices of adult animals of an artificially isolated subpopulation of saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica) in Ascania Nova, which originated from the Kalmyk population animals, has been carried out. It is established that average Cv (by six indices) of the skulls of saiga antelopes is 3.19±0.41% for the males, and 2.90±0.38% for the females; by all the indices the males exceed the females (P<0.001). A relatively weak correlation between individual  measurements has been found, and it varies in relatively wide limits in case with males (from 0.18 till 0.98) as well as with females (from 0.10 till 0.96). The biggest values of the correlation coefficient account for changes in condilobasal length of skull with its basic length (r=0.98 and 0.96 respectively) and diastem length (r = 0.65 and 0.88 respectively); for basic length of skull with diastem length (r =0.64 and 0.85 respectively) and interorbital width with skull length in orbital area (r= 0.80 and 0.87 respectively). A weaker correlation exists in the change of interorbital width values with basic skull length (r = 0.19 and 0.16 respectively), with diastem length (r= 0.24 and 0.27 respectively) and with condilobasallength of skull (r= 0.18 and 0.30 respectively), as well as in basic length of skull with its length in orbital area (r= 0.26 and 0.32 respectively). Skullsofsaigaantelopesfrom the Ascanianpopulation(equallymalesandfemales) byquantitativeindicesexceed the analogous indices of animals from Kalmyk population, the difference being statistically significant. Afurther, moredetailedanalysisofdegreeandcharacterofindividualfactorsonmorphologicalvariabilityofsaigaantelopesfrom the Ascaniansubpopulationwill help to develop further programs of their reintroduction.

 

 

 

Key words:SAIGA, SUBPOPULATION, SKULL, CRANIOMETRIC INDICES, SKULL RATIO, CORRELATION, ARTIFICIAL ISOLATION, RESERVE «ASCANIA NOVA»

 

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