Please find details below of a new article added to our Bibliography:
Title: Analysis of Conservation Gaps and Landscape Connectivity for Snow Leopard in Qilian Mountains of China
Author: Li, Y., Zhang, Y., Yadong, X., Zhang, Y., Zhang, Y., Gao, Y. Li, D.
Abstract: Human modification and habitat fragmentation have a substantial influence on large carnivores, which need extensive, contiguous habitats to survive in a landscape. The establishment of protected areas is an effective way to offer protection for carnivore populations by buffering them from anthropogenic impacts. In this study, we used MaxEnt to model habitat suitability and to identify conservation gaps for snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in the Qilian Mountains of China, and then assessed the impact of highways/railways and their corridors on habitat connectivity using a graph-based landscape connectivity model. Our results indicated that the study area had 51,137 km2 of potentially suitable habitat for snow leopards and that there were four protection gaps outside of Qilian Mountain National Park. The findings revealed that the investigated highway and railway resulted in a decrease in connectivity at a regional scale, and that corridor development might enhance regional connectivity, which strengthens the capacity of central habitat patches to act as stepping stones and improve connections between western and eastern habitat patches. This study emphasized the need for assessing the impact of highways and railways, as well as their role in corridor development, on species’ connectivity. Based on our results, we provide some detailed recommendations for designing protection action plans for effectively protecting snow leopard habitat and increasing habitat connectivity.