Alkiviadis Geskos is a wildlife biologist with a PhD on the behavioural ecology and conservation of the Cretan Wild Goat (Agrimi). I would like to join the LHNet as an expert so as to help with conservation planning of Caprinae species and, if necessary, ungulates in general.
He finished his first degree in 1996. Since then, he took part as a volunteer in various conservation projects, some involving European herbivores such as roe deer and wild boar. He got involved more with ungulates, esp., Red and Fallow deer and captive-bred Przewalski horses, during his MSc. Between 2004 and 2011 he conducted PhD research on the morphology, behavioural ecology, population dynamics and conservation of the Cretan wild goat or Agrimi in its native habitats of Crete.
Ungulates and other large herbivores are keystone species in natural ecosystems, forming landscapes and affecting the survival of top predators. Based on the expertise of its members, LHNet can support the conservation of wild large herbivores and their habitats in fast developing regions of Eurasia.
Agrimi (Capra aegagrus cretica)
There is some confusion about what is Agrimi. It is the Wild Goat from which Agrimi evolved (on Crete) that was once common in the Aegean region (remaining populations only in Turkish coasts). Agrimi was always found only on Crete – such as in the Lefka Ori (White Mountains). Agrimi was introduced to six islets of Greece in the 20th century: Moni, Sapientza and Atalandi. It was extirpated from Dia in 2001 because the population hybridised with domestic goats.
The assumption that Agrimi is a feral form was based on the fact that it was introduced, by man, into Crete in Neolithic times and on the results of recent genetic studies (Bar-Gal et al 2002 cited in the Wikipedia article). Nevertheless, in 2006, the same laboratory*) challenged their results by suggesting that the Agrimi population is of wild origin albeit hybridised with feral goats. Regarding its phenotype, the external appearance of Agrimi justifies the Wild Goat subspecies status given to it. But, it's true, the EU now treats it as a primitive ('fossil') feral form deserving protection.
Kri-kri is not the proper name. But, there was an Agrimi called Kri-kri in the 1950s. Traos is how male Agrimi are called!
*) [Horwitz LK and Bar-Gal GK (2006). The Origin and Genetic Status of Insular Caprines in the Eastern Mediterranean: A Case Study of Free-Ranging Goats (Capra aegagrus cretica) on Crete Human Evolution Volume 21, Number 2, 123-138 http://www.springerlink.com/content/4536l1t233t72168/]
What I would like to do is create drawings of the herbivores in the LHNet database, which can be used for reports or other documents as illustrations make a text more enjoyable. I will do this as my contribution to the organisation.