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      Morphological keys for identifying long-tailed gorals ( Naemorhedus caudatus ) and population composition in the Osaek Region of South Korea

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          The objectives of this study were to select morphological keys for the identification of individual endangered long-tailed gorals through analysis of photographic data and to use these morphological keys to determine the number and population composition of gorals living in the Osaek Region of Seoraksan National Park. Amongst 8149 photos taken using 73 cameras in the Osaek Region, 2057 photos of faces and horns were analysed. The presence and absence of horns, shape of the horns, proportion of the ring to the length of the horn and facial colour pattern were selected as morphological keys to identify individual gorals. To verify the accuracy of the morphological keys for identifying gorals, a blind test was performed on gorals residing in the sanctuary of the Yanggu Goral Restoration Center. The test revealed that the population and age of gorals were discerned correctly by the morphological keys, but there was a 12.5% error in discriminating between sexes in gorals aged over 10 years. Fifty-six gorals were identified from 2057 pictures, based on the morphological keys and methods developed in this study. The population of 56 individuals consisted of 43 individuals aged over 2 years (subadult or adult) and 13 offspring aged less than 2 years, with a ratio of 3.3:1. Of the total 56 individuals, 45% were adults aged 10 years or older, 18% were adults aged 3–10 years, 7% were subadults aged 2–3 years, 23% were offspring aged less than 2 years and 7% were individuals aged 2 years or older, whose age and sex could not be confirmed. The sex ratio of males to females was 1.17:1, with a corrected sex ratio of 1:1 considering the 12.5% error rate for gorals aged over 10 years, amongst the 39 gorals aged over 2 years.

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                Author and article information

                Biodivers Data J
                Biodivers Data J
                Biodiversity Data Journal
                Pensoft Publishers
                17 November 2020
                : 8
                [1 ] Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, South Korea Kangwon National University Chuncheon South Korea
                [2 ] Yanggu Goral Restoration Center, Yanggu, South Korea Yanggu Goral Restoration Center Yanggu South Korea
                [3 ] Korea National Park Service, Wonju, South Korea Korea National Park Service Wonju South Korea
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Yung-Chul Park ( parky@ 123456kangwon.ac.kr ).

                Academic editor: Anne Ropiquet

                58440 14712
                Ki-Yoon Kim, Sang-Jin Lim, Jae-Yong Ahn, Ji-Hong Min, Yung-Chul Park

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 7, References: 29
                Research Article


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