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Article

Demography of domestic dog population and its implications for stray dog abundance: a case study of Omsk, Russia

Urban Ecosystems. 2016. No. 19(3). P. 1405-1418.
Makenov M., Bekova S.

In cities of Russia, stray dog populations have been conserved for a long time, despite natural mortality and constant catching. We suggested that the overpopulation of owned dogs and their subsequent transition into stray dogs is a primary reason for the increase in the number of stray dogs. Information on owned dogs was obtained through a cross-sectional household survey of dogs owners in Omsk, Russia. Analysis of a vertical life table showed that the maximum mortality of owned dogs under 1 year of age was 53 %; in other age classes, the mortality was, on average, 5.6 %. Analysis of fecundity showed that 81 % of the owners do not mate their dogs; consequently, only 36 % of the adult females whelped at least once. Analysis of the Leslie matrix showed that the growth rate of the population of owned dogs was 1 % per year. This result shows minimum overpopulation. Previous dogs escaped or were lost or vanished in rare cases (approximately 0.5 %). However, in a megalopolis, even such low frequencies are significant (95 % CI: 1433–5473 individuals). Analyses of the demographic processes in a population of owned dogs showed that a transition from owned dogs to stray dogs exists. Overpopulation is not the key reason for the transition, but different accidents are: that is, pets are lost, run away, etc. The frequency of such events is small, but, because of the size of the city, the number of such dogs might be 10–39 % of the total number of stray dogs.