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Author Johansson, O., Ausilio, G., Low, M., Lkhagvajav, P., Weckworth, B., Sharma, K.
Title The timing of breeding and independence for snow leopard females and their cubs. Type Journal Article
Year 2020 Publication Mammalian Biology Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages
Keywords Age of independence; Life-history trade-offs; Panthera uncia; Parental care; Pre-dispersal behavior; Separation; Subadult
Abstract Significant knowledge gaps persist on snow leopard demography

and reproductive behavior. From a GPS-collared population in Mongolia,

we estimated the timing of mating, parturition and independence. Based

on three mother–cub pairs, we describe the separation phase of the cub

from its mother as it gains independence. Snow leopards mated from

January–March and gave birth from April–June. Cubs remained with their

mother until their second winter (20–22 months of age) when cubs started

showing movements away from their mother for days at a time. This

initiation of independence appeared to coincide with their mother mating

with the territorial male. Two female cubs remained in their mothers’

territory for several months after initial separation, whereas the male

cub quickly dispersed. By comparing the relationship between body size

and age of independence across 11 solitary, medium-to-large felid

species, it was clear that snow leopards have a delayed timing of

separation compared to other species. We suggest this may be related to

their mating behavior and the difficulty of the habitat and prey capture

for juvenile snow leopards. Our results, while limited, provide

empirical estimates for understanding snow leopard ecology and for

parameterizing population models.
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 Serial 1613
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