Socially Significant Areas in the Saiga Habitat Territory of the Northwestern Caspian Region
For many species of social herbivores, it has been shown that in certain areas of their habitats, social behavior is manifested most actively, and some types of social interactions occur exclusively in such "hot spots" or "social arenas" (Turkalo, Klaus-Hugi, 1999; Hardenberg et al., 2000; Bro-Jørgensen, 2003; Fishlock, Lee, 2013). Such "hot spots" are essential for the formation of social groupings, reproductive success and gene exchange in many species of social mammals. The search and description of such socially significant sites for the saiga has not previously been carried out. The project is devoted to the study of the social behavior of the saiga in the North-Western Caspian region in different parts of the habitat, taking into account the seasonal dynamics. The main goal of the project is to identify the key places of saiga socialization that are important for the success of reproduction and the survival of the population.