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Author Kashkarov, E.
Title THE SNOW LEOPARD OF KIRGIZIA: NATIONAL SHAME OR NATIONAL PRIDE Type Journal Article
Year (up) 2017 Publication Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages 239-253
Keywords snow leopard, irbis, ibex, mountain sheep, conservation, range, reserve, monitoring, cameratrap, Sarychat, Kirgizia, Central Asia.
Abstract Article examines the problems existing in conservation of the snow leopard in Kirgizia after break-up of the

USSR. Unfortunate situation is common to most of the 14 countries in the snow leopard range, but seems

especially sharp to Kirgizia. Yet half of the century ago Kirgizia has had about 1.5 thousand of the snow

leopards, and today there remains no more than 1/10. In Soviet time Kirgizia was a global supplier of the

snow leopards for the zoo-export � to create a reserve number of endangered cats in captivity. Today, at

least half of the snow leopards in the Zoos of the world are individuals, caught in Kirgizia or their

descendants.

Since independence, Kirgizia has set new records. In Sarychat-Irtash reserve � the best for the snow

leopard in Central Asia, and probably in the whole range � this species was completely destroyed after 3

years of reserve opening... and 17 years later � revived... Situation comes presently back to the worst-case

scenario, and not only for the snow leopard. Author shows how work in this direction social and economic

levers, and what kind future he would like to see in Kirgizia, where he lived for 12 years and was at the

forefront of pioneering research of the snow leopard and its conservation.
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Notes Approved no
Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1454
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Author Poyarkov, A. D., Munkhtsog, B., Korablev, M. P., Kuksin, A. N., Alexandrov, D. Y., Chistopolova, M. D.,Hernandez-Blanco, J. A., Munkhtogtokh, O., Karnaukhov, A. S., Lkhamsuren, N., Bayaraa, M., Jackson, R. M., Maheshwari, A., Rozhnov, V. V.
Title Assurance of the existence of a trans-boundary population of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) at Tsagaanshuvuut – Tsagan- Shibetu SPA at the Mongolia-Russia border Type Journal Article
Year (up) 2020 Publication Integrative Zoology Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue 15 Pages 224-231
Keywords FST, home range, Panthera uncia, snow leopard, trans-boundary population
Abstract The existence of a trans-boundary population of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) that inhabits the massifs of Tsagaanshuvuut (Mongolia) – Tsagan-Shibetu (Russia) was determined through non-invasive genetic analysis of scat samples and by studying the structure of territory use by a collared female individual. The genetic analysis included species identification of samples through sequencing of a fragment of the cytochrome b gene and individual identification using a panel of 8 microsatellites. The home range of a female snow leopard marked with a satellite Global Positioning System (GPS) collar was represented by the minimum convex polygon method (MCP) 100, the MCP 95 method and the fixed kernel 95 method. The results revealed insignificant genetic differentiation between snow leopards that inhabit both massifs (minimal fixation index [FST]), and the data testify to the unity of the cross-border group. Moreover, 5 common individuals were identified from Mongolian and Russian territories. This finding clearly shows that their home range includes territories of both countries. In addition, regular movement of a collared snow leopard in Mongolia and Russia confirmed the existence of a cross-border snow leopard group. These data support that trans-boundary conservation is important for snow leopards in both countries. We conclude that it is crucial for Russia to study the northern range of snow leopards in Asia.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1493
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Author Bagchi, S., Sharma, R. K., Bhatnagar, Y.V.
Title Change in snow leopard predation on livestock after revival of wild prey in the Trans-Himalaya Type Journal Article
Year (up) 2020 Publication Wildlife Biology Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages 1-11
Keywords arid ecosystems, diet analysis, human-wildlife conflict, Panthera, predator, rangeland
Abstract Human–wildlife conflict arising from livestock-losses to large carnivores is an important challenge faced by conservation. Theory of prey–predator interactions suggests that revival of wild prey populations can reduce predator’s dependence on livestock in multiple-use landscapes. We explore whether 10-years of conservation efforts to revive wild prey could reduce snow leopard’s Panthera uncia consumption of livestock in the coupled human-and-natural Trans-Himalayan ecosystem of northern India. Starting in 2001, concerted conservation efforts at one site (intervention) attempted recovery of wild- prey populations by creating livestock-free reserves, accompanied with other incentives (e.g. insurance, vigilant herding). Another site, 50km away, was monitored as status quo without any interventions. Prey remains in snow leopard scats were examined periodically at five-year intervals between 2002 and 2012 to determine any temporal shift in diet at both sites to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation interventions. Consumption of livestock increased at the status quo site, while it decreased at the intervention-site. At the intervention-site, livestock-consumption reduced during 2002–2007 (by 17%, p = 0.06); this effect was sustained during the next five-year interval, and it was accompanied by a persistent increase in wild prey populations. Here we also noted increased predator populations, likely due to immigration into the study area. Despite the increase in the predator population, there was no increase in livestock-consumption. In contrast, under status quo, dependence on livestock increased during both five-year intervals (by 7%, p=0.08, and by 16%, p=0.01, respectively). These contrasts between the trajectories of the two sites suggest that livestock-loss can potentially be reduced through the revival of wild prey. Further, accommodating counter-factual scenarios may be an important step to infer whether conservation efforts achieve their targets, or not.
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Call Number Serial 1623
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Author Oberosler, V., Tenan, S., Groff, C., Krofel, M., Augugliaro, C., Munkhtsog, B., Rovero, F.
Title First spatially‐explicit density estimate for a snow leopard population in the Altai Mountains Type Journal Article
Year (up) 2021 Publication Biodiversity and Conservation Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages 15
Keywords Camera trapping · Conservation · Abundance · Felids · Activity range · Mongolia · Panthera uncia · Spatial capture-recapture
Abstract The snow leopard Panthera uncia is an elusive and globally-threatened apex predator occurring in the mountain ranges of central Asia. As with other large carnivores, gaps in data on its distribution and abundance still persist. Moreover, available density estimates are often based on inadequate sampling designs or analytical approaches. Here, we used camera trapping across a vast mountainous area (area of the sampling frame 850 km2; analysed habitat extent 2600 km2) and spatially-explicit capture-recapture (SECR) models to provide, to our knowledge, the first robust snow leopard population density estimate for the Altai Mountains. This region is considered one of the most important conservation areas for snow leopards, representing a vast portion of suitable habitat and a key ecological corridor. We also provide estimates of the scale parameter (σ) that reflects ranging behaviour (activity range) and baseline encounter probability, and investigated potential drivers of density and related parameters by assessing their associations with anthropogenic and environmental factors. Sampling yielded 9729 images of snow leopards corresponding to 224 independent detections that belonged to a minimum of 23 identified adult individuals. SECR analysis resulted in an overall density of 1.31 individuals/100 km2 (1.15%–1.50 95% CI), which was positively correlated with terrain slope. This estimate falls within the mid-values of the range of density estimates for the species globally. We estimated significantly different activity range size for females and males (79 and 329 km2, respectively). Base- line encounter probability was negatively associated with anthropogenic activity. Our study contributes to on-going efforts to produce robust global estimates of population abundance for this top carnivore.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1662
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Author Murali, R., Bijoor, A., Thinley, T., Gurmet, K., Chunit, K., Tobge, R., Thuktan, T., Suryawanshi, K., Nagendra, H., Mishra, C.
Title Indigenous governance structures for maintaining an ecosystem service in an agro-pastoral community in the Indian Trans Himalaya Type Journal Article
Year (up) 2022 Publication Ecosystems and People Abbreviated Journal
Volume 18 Issue 1 Pages 303-314
Keywords Commons; local governance; plant-harvest; rangelands; Spiti Valley
Abstract The majority of the global terrestrial biodiversity occurs on indigenous lands, and biodiversity decline on these lands is relatively slower. Yet, robust understanding of indigenous governance systems for biodiversity and ecosystem services remains a key knowledge gap. We used the socio-ecological systems framework to study the governance of ecosystem services (ES) by an indigenous community in the Village of Kibber in the Trans-Himalayan Mountains of India. Focusing on plant-biomass removal from communal pastures, we identified the main factors shaping local governance using in-depth focal and deliberative group discussions with community members. Notwithstanding inequities of caste and gender, we found that Kibber had a well-functioning, complex, relatively democratic and inclusive system, with all households of the village involved in decision-making related to ES governance. Robust systems of information sharing, monitoring, conflict resolution, and self-organization played an important role. We found the role of institutional memory sustained by the oracle to be critical in maintaining governance structures. Our work underscores the potential resilience and importance of indigenous systems for the governance of ecosystem services.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1692
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Author Luxom, N. M., Singh, R., Theengh, L., Shrestha, P., Sharma, R. K.
Title Pastoral practices, pressures, Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice Open Access and human-wildlife relations in high altitude rangelands of eastern Himalaya: A case study of the Dokpa pastoralists of North Sikkim Type Journal Article
Year (up) 2022 Publication Springer Open Abbreviated Journal
Volume 12 Issue 37 Pages 1-19
Keywords Pastoralism, Socio-political stresses, Institutions, Climatic change, Free-ranging dogs, Participatory rangeland conservation
Abstract The pastoral practices of the Dokpa herders of North Sikkim have been transforming in response to the geo-political and socio-economic changes in the region. Against the backdrop of these changes, this study aims to understand the current state of pastoralism in North Sikkim with three specific objectives: (i) to understand the current rangeland management practices of the Dokpa community; (ii) to examine the social, political and ecological stresses to continuity of traditional pastoral livelihoods; and (iii) to document the baseline on human-wildlife relations. We focused on one of the two subset populations of Dokpa herders of North Sikkim and, using a mixed-methods approach, conducted 12 semi-structured interviews, four key respondent interviews and two focused group discussions. The resource use by the Dokpas is unique, and unlike the rest of the Himalayan range, they access the high-altitude pastures in winters and the lower ones in summer. Pastures in the higher altitudes experience heavier winds, which leads to lower levels of snow deposition — thus ensuring access to dried pasture forage for livestock during the lean season. The decisions pertaining to resource management are taken by the head of the local institution Dzumsa, the Pipon. Primary stresses to the continuation of traditional pastoral practices are fragmentation of pastureland post- Sino-Indian war of 1962 and the consequent establishment of armed forces, livestock depredation by free-ranging dogs followed by wild predators and continued socio-economic marginalisation of the pastoralists under a supposedly egalitarian institutional regime. Extreme climatic events in the recent past have also contributed to significant livestock loss. Dokpa transhumant practices are on an overall decline, with most members of the younger generation shifting to non-herding livelihoods. The availability of alternate livelihood options with the improved connectivity, access to education and development of the tourism industry has led to changing aspirations of the younger generations. In only two of the twelve households we surveyed, the younger generation continues herding, while the rest have moved to the cities and towns. In terms of human-wildlife relations, the respondents mostly hold a positive attitude towards wildlife and conservation actions despite livestock predation by wild predators, since the free-ranging dogs cause the highest livestock loss. With the inputs from the Dokpas, we provide recommendations towards a facilitative environment for the continuation of the traditional herding in the region, which is critical for the survival of pastoralism in North Sikkim, presently hinged on less than two dozen of elderly Dokpas.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1700
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Author Khanyari, M., Robinson, S., Milner-Gulland, E. J., Morgan, E. R., Rana, R. S., Suryawanshi, K. R.
Title Pastoralism in the high Himalayas: Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice Open Access Understanding changing practices and their implications for parasite transmission between livestock and wildlife Type Journal Article
Year (up) 2022 Publication Springer Open Abbreviated Journal
Volume 12 Issue 44 Pages 1-16
Keywords Migratory, Transhumance, Livestock, Asiatic ibex, Capra sibirica, Pasture, Rangelands, Gastro-intestinal nematodes
Abstract Rangelands are increasingly being affected by climatic variations, fragmentation and changes in livestock management practices. Along with resource competition between livestock and wildlife, disease transmission has implications for people and wildlife in these shared landscapes. We worked with two pastoral communities in the Western Indian Himalayas: the migratory Kinnauras that travel to the Trans‐Himalayan Pin valley in summer and the resident herders of Pin Valley. Asiatic ibex (Capra sibirica) is the predominant wild herbivore in Pin. The pastures in Pin are grazed by both livestock (migratory and resident) and ibex, with the potential for disease transmission. We investigate the effects of herding practices on livestock health and disease transmission, while focusing on gastro‐intestinal nematodes (GINs) as they can spread by sharing pasture between wild and domestic ungulates. Surveys were carried out between June and August 2019, the period when migratory Kinnauras, local herders and Asiatic Ibex are found in Pin Valley. We found that the Kinnaura flocks share pasture with ibex during their time in Pin, exhibiting significantly higher endo‐parasite burdens than sedentary livestock, and the Kinnaura flocks are increasing in number. This suggests GIN cross‐transmission is possible, as GINs have low host specificity and a free‐living, environmental stage that is trophically acquired. As local (sedentary) sheep and goats rarely share pasture with ibex, have low endo‐parasite burdens and are few in number, they are unlikely to transmit parasites to ibex. However, increasingly large local stock numbers may be contributing to pasture degradation which could cause nutritional stress and resource competition, exacerbating GIN impacts. We also find evidence for transhumance persisting, in spite of signs of pasture degradation that are seemingly affecting livestock productivity and potentially disease transmission. It is critical that proactive measures are taken, like participatory disease management with the Kinnauras, to align livelihoods with wildlife and rangeland conservation.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1703
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