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Author (up) Forrest, J. L.,Wikramanayake, E., Shrestha, R., Areendran, G., Gyeltshen, K., Maheshwari, A., Mazumdar, S., Naidoo, R., Thapa, G. J., Thapa, K.
Title Conservation and climate change: Assessing the vulnerability of snow leopard habitat to treeline shift in the Himalaya Type Journal Article
Year 2012 Publication Biological Conservation Abbreviated Journal
Volume 150 Issue Pages 129-135
Keywords Snow leopard Climate adaptation Conservation planning Endangered species Climate change Himalaya
Abstract Climate change is likely to affect the persistence of large, space-requiring species through habitat shifts,

loss, and fragmentation. Anthropogenic land and resource use changes related to climate change can also

impact the survival of wildlife. Thus, climate change has to be integrated into biodiversity conservation

plans. We developed a hybrid approach to climate-adaptive conservation landscape planning for snow

leopards in the Himalayan Mountains. We first mapped current snow leopard habitat using a mechanistic

approach that incorporated field-based data, and then combined it with a climate impact model using a

correlative approach. For the latter, we used statistical methods to test hypotheses about climatic drivers

of treeline in the Himalaya and its potential response to climate change under three IPCC greenhouse gas

emissions scenarios. We then assessed how change in treeline might affect the distribution of snow leopard

habitat. Results indicate that about 30% of snow leopard habitat in the Himalaya may be lost due to a

shifting treeline and consequent shrinking of the alpine zone, mostly along the southern edge of the range

and in river valleys. But, a considerable amount of snow leopard habitat and linkages are likely to remain

resilient to climate change, and these should be secured. This is because, as the area of snow leopard habitat

fragments and shrinks, threats such as livestock grazing, retaliatory killing, and medicinal plant collection

can intensify. We propose this approach for landscape conservation planning for other species

with extensive spatial requirements that can also be umbrella species for overall biodiversity.

 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Corporate Author Thesis
Publisher Place of Publication Editor
Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1385
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