New Note to Bibliography




Please find details of a new note reporting a SL predation on an adult yak, which has been added to our bibliography:

Title: Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) predation and consumption of an adult yak in the Mongolian Altai.

Authors: 􏰢􏰡􏰈􏰪 􏰖􏰓􏰈􏰨􏰅Krofel, M., Groff, C., Oberosler, V., Augugliaro, C., Rovero, F.

Introduction: The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is an apex predator of mountainous ecosystems in Central Asia, characterised by relatively long feeding times and low kill rates (Johansson et al. 2015; Mallon et al. 2016). Predation is mainly focused on wild ungulates and the vast majority of animals killed by snow leopards are smaller than 100 kg (Lovari et al. 2013). Throughout most of their range, Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and argali (Ovis ammon) represent the most important prey (Hunter 2015). These species weigh up to 180 kg, which was suggested to be near the maximum limit of the prey size that snow leopard can handle (i.e. about 3 times its size) (e.g. Schaller 1977; Hunter 2015). Accordingly, researchers generally assume that prey like adult yaks (Bos grunniens) with an average body weight of 250 kg (Bagchi & Mishra 2006), are too large to be killed by snow leopards (e.g. Devkota et al. 2013; Chetri et al. 2017). In contrast, local livestock herders report that snow leopard can also kill larger prey, including adult yaks (e.g. Li et al. 2013; Suryawanshi et al. 2013), but confirmed records of snow leopard killing prey of this size appear to be lacking in the literature. We also have very limited knowledge about the consumption of snow leopard kills, and the scavengers, including conspecifics, that are using them (Fox & Chundawat 2016; Schaller 2016). Here we report on a predation event and the following consumption process of a snow leopard kill, a free-roaming adult female yak, which we studied in 2019 using snow tracking, direct observation and camera trapping in the Mongolian Altai.


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