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Author (up) Suryawanshi, K. R., Khanyari, M., Sharma, K., Lkhagvajav, P., Mishra, C.
Title Sampling bias in snow leopard population estimation studies Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Population Eccology Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages 1-9
Keywords camera trap, Central Asia, Himalaya, meta-analysis, monitoring, Panthera uncia, population ecology
Abstract Accurate assessments of the status of threatened species and their conservation

planning require reliable estimation of their global populations and robust monitoring

of local population trends. We assessed the adequacy and suitability of studies

in reliably estimating the global snow leopard (Panthera uncia) population. We

compiled a dataset of all the peer-reviewed published literature on snow leopard

population estimation. Metadata analysis showed estimates of snow leopard density

to be a negative exponential function of area, suggesting that study areas have generally

been too small for accurate density estimation, and sampling has often been

biased towards the best habitats. Published studies are restricted to six of the

12 range countries, covering only 0.3�0.9% of the presumed global range of the

species. Re-sampling of camera trap data from a relatively large study site

(c.1684 km2) showed that small-sized study areas together with a bias towards

good quality habitats in existing studies may have overestimated densities by up to

five times. We conclude that current information is biased and inadequate for generating

a reliable global population estimate of snow leopards. To develop a rigorous

and useful baseline and to avoid pitfalls, there is an urgent need for

(a) refinement of sampling and analytical protocols for population estimation of

snow leopards (b) agreement and coordinated use of standardized sampling protocols

amongst researchers and governments across the range, and (c) sampling

larger and under-represented areas of the snow leopard's global range.
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 1477
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