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Author (up) Suryawanshi, K.R. url  openurl
  Title Towards snow leopard prey recovery: understanding the resource use strategies and demographic responses of bharal Pseudois nayaur to livestock grazing and removal; Final project report Type Report
  Year 2009 Publication Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue Pages 1-43  
  Keywords project; snow; snow leopard; snow-leopard; leopard; network; conservation; program; prey; recovery; resource; use; strategy; demographic; Response; bharal; Pseudois; pseudois nayaur; Pseudois-nayaur; nayaur; livestock; grazing; Report; decline; wild; populations; population; Himalayan; region; Competition; threats; threat; uncia; Uncia uncia; Uncia-uncia; study; diet; winter; Test; browse; nutrition; areas; area; young; Female; times; High; Adult; mortality; species; predators; predator; endangered; trans-himalaya; transhimalaya  
  Abstract Decline of wild prey populations in the Himalayan region, largely due to competition with livestock, has been identified as one of the main threats to the snow leopard Uncia uncia. Studies show that bharal Pseudois nayaur diet is dominated by graminoids during summer, but the proportion of graminoids declines in winter. We explore the causes for the decline of graminoids from bharal winter diet and resulting implications for bharal conservation. We test the predictions generated by two alternative hypotheses, (H1) low graminoid availability caused by livestock grazing during winter causes bharal to include browse in their diet, and, (H2) bharal include browse, with relatively higher nutrition, to compensate for the poor quality of graminoids during winter. Graminoid availability was highest in areas without livestock grazing, followed by areas with moderate and intense livestock grazing. Graminoid quality in winter was relatively lower than that of browse, but the difference was not statistically significant. Bharal diet was dominated by graminoids in areas with highest graminoid availability. Graminoid contribution to bharal diet declined monotonically with a decline in graminoid availability. Bharal young to female ratio was three times higher in areas with high graminoid availability than areas with low graminoid availability. No starvation-related adult mortalities were observed in any of the areas. Composition of bharal winter diet was governed predominantly by the availability of graminoids in the rangelands. Since livestock grazing reduces graminoid availability, creation of livestock free areas is necessary for conservation of grazing species such as the bharal and its predators such as the endangered snow leopard in the Trans-Himalaya.  
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  Notes Project funded by Snow Leopard Network's Snow Leopard Conservation Grant Program, 2008. Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore. Post-graduate Program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Wildlife Conservation Society -India program, Bangalore, India. Approved no  
  Call Number SLN @ rana @ 1077 Serial 952  
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Author (up) Suryawanshi, K.R., Bhatnagar, Y. V. B., Redpath, S., Mishra, C. url  openurl
  Title People, predators and perceptions: patterns of livestock depredation by snow leopards and wolves Type Journal Article
  Year 2013 Publication Journal of Applied Ecology Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 50 Issue Pages 550-560  
  Keywords Canis lupus, Capra ibex, human–wildlife conflict, large carnivores, Panthera uncia, Pseudois nayaur, trans-Himalaya  
  Abstract 1. Livestock depredation by large carnivores is an important conservation and economic concern

and conservation management would benefit from a better understanding of spatial variation

and underlying causes of depredation events. Focusing on the endangered snow leopard

Panthera uncia and the wolf Canis lupus, we identify the ecological factors that predispose

areas within a landscape to livestock depredation. We also examine the potential mismatch

between reality and human perceptions of livestock depredation by these carnivores whose

survival is threatened due to persecution by pastoralists.

2. We assessed the distribution of the snow leopard, wolf and wild ungulate prey through field

surveys in the 4000 km2 Upper Spiti Landscape of trans-Himalayan India. We interviewed local

people in all 25 villages to assess the distribution of livestock and peoples’ perceptions of the risk

to livestock from these carnivores. We monitored village-level livestock mortality over a 2-year

period to assess the actual level of livestock depredation. We quantified several possibly influential

independent variables that together captured variation in topography, carnivore abundance

and abundance and other attributes of livestock. We identified the key variables influencing livestock

depredation using multiple logistic regressions and hierarchical partitioning.

3. Our results revealed notable differences in livestock selectivity and ecological correlates of

livestock depredation – both perceived and actual – by snow leopards and wolves. Stocking

density of large-bodied free-ranging livestock (yaks and horses) best explained people’s threat

perception of livestock depredation by snow leopards, while actual livestock depredation was

explained by the relative abundance of snow leopards and wild prey. In the case of wolves,

peoples’ perception was best explained by abundance of wolves, while actual depredation by

wolves was explained by habitat structure.

4. Synthesis and applications. Our results show that (i) human perceptions can be at odds

with actual patterns of livestock depredation, (ii) increases in wild prey populations will intensify

livestock depredation by snow leopards, and prey recovery programmes must be accompanied

by measures to protect livestock, (iii) compensation or insurance programmes should

target large-bodied livestock in snow leopard habitats and (iv) sustained awareness

programmes are much needed, especially for the wolf.
 
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  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1396  
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Author (up) Suryawanshi, K.R.; Bhatnagar, Y.; Mishra, C. url  openurl
  Title Why should a grazer browse? Livestock impact on winter resource use by bharal Pseudois nayaur Type Journal Article
  Year 2009 Publication Oecologia Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue Pages 1-10  
  Keywords browse; livestock; impact; winter; resource; use; bharal; Pseudois; pseudois nayaur; Pseudois-nayaur; nayaur; diet; variation; diets; conservation; Media; study; decline; areas; area; grazing; Pressure; plants; plant; sign; feeding; location; population; structure; populations; using; young; Female; times; High; Competition; species; predators; predator; endangered; snow; snow leopard; snow-leopard; leopard; trans-himalaya; transhimalaya  
  Abstract Many mammalian herbivores show a temporal diet variation between graminoid-dominated and browse dominated diets. We determined the causes of such a diet shift and its implications for conservation of a medium sized ungulate-the bharal Pseudois nayaur. Past studies show that the bharal diet is dominated by graminoids (>80%) during summer, but the contribution of graminoids declines to about 50% in winter. We tested the predictions generated by two alternative hypotheses explaining the decline: low graminoid availability during winter causes bharal to include browse in their diet; bharal include browse, with relatively higher nutritional quality, in their diet to compensate for the poor quality of graminoids during winter. We measured winter graminoid availability in areas with no livestock grazing, areas with relatively moderate livestock grazing, and those with intense livestock grazing pressures. The chemical composition of plants contributing to the bharal diet was analysed. The bharal diet was quantiWed through signs of feeding on vegetation at feeding locations. Population structures of bharal populations were recorded using a total count method. Graminoid availability was highest in areas without livestock grazing, followed by areas with moderate and intense livestock grazing. The bharal diet was dominated by graminoids (73%) in areas with highest graminoid availability. Graminoid contribution to the bharal diet declined monotonically (50, 36%) with a decline in graminoid availability. Bharal young to female ratio was 3 times higher in areas with high graminoid availability than areas with low graminoid availability. The composition of the bharal winter diet was governed predominantly by the availability of graminoids in the rangelands. Our results suggest that bharal include more browse in their diet during winter due to competition from livestock for graminoids. Since livestock grazing reduces graminoid availability, creation of livestock-free areas is necessary for the conservation of grazing species such as the bharal and its predators including the endangered snow leopard in the Trans-Himalaya.  
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  Notes This study was made possible by a grant from the Snow Leopard Network. Additional support was given by the Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program and Nature Conservation Foundation, the Whitley Fund for Nature, the Ford Foundation, and the Nadathur Conservation Trust. Approved no  
  Call Number SLN @ rana @ 1062 Serial 951  
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