New Article to the Bibliography


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Title: Drivers of snow leopard poaching and trade in Pakistan and implications for management

Author: Din, J. U., Bari, F., Ali, H., Rehman, E. U., Adli, D. S. H., Abdullah, N. A., Norma-Rashid, Y., Kabir, M., Hameed, S., Nawaz, D. A., Nawaz, M. A.

Abstract: The snow leopard is one of the highly valued species from high-altitude mountain ecosystems of Central and Southeast Asia, including Pakistan. This keystone species is facing a myriad of conventional and emerging threats, including poaching and trade, that are poorly documented in Pakistan. To understand the dynamics and drivers of the poaching and trading of snow leopards in Pakistan, we investigated the issue in depth through a multifaceted survey in the snow leopard range of the country. We recorded 101 snow leopard poaching incidences from 11 districts during 2005–2017. The reported poaching incidences varied spatially (‒x = 9 ± 2.6 [95% Cl: 3–15]) and temporally (‒x = 7.8 ± 1.09) and accounted for 2–4% annual population loss (n = 200–420) in a period of 13 years. Poaching and trade together constituted 89% of the total incidence reported and animals were mostly shot (66%), poisoned (12%), snared (12%) and captured (4%), respectively. Only a fraction (3%) of the incidences were reported to the relevant law enforcement agencies. Trade routes included large cities and neighbouring countries, even the Middle East and Europe. The average base and end prices for each item were 245 ± 36 USD and 1,736 ± 520 USD, respectively, while maximum monetary fines set as per the law were 275 USD. Our results establish the need for developing multi-stakeholder coordination mechanisms at regional, national and international levels and information sharing to curb this menace. Improving the existing laws and surveillance system, while taking the local communities onboard, will further help to this end.


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