||Among large predators, snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and co-predators (e.g., wolves
Canis lupus, lynx Lynx lynx) often cause economic losses, engendering animosity from
local communities in the mountain ecosystem across south and central Asia (Din et al.,
2017; Jackson & Lama, 2016; Maheshwari, Takpa, Kujur, & Shawl, 2010; Schaller, 2012).
These economic losses range from around US $50 to nearly $300 per household,
a significant sum given per capita annual incomes of $250 – $400 (Jackson & Wangchuk,
2004; Mishra, 1997). Recent efforts such as improved livestock husbandry practices
(predator-proof livestock corrals – closed night shelters with covered roof with wiremesh
and a closely fitting iron or wooden door that can be securely locked at night) and
community-based ecotourism (e.g., home stays, guides, porters, pack animals, campsites)
are providing alternative livelihood opportunities and mitigating large carnivores – human
conflict in the snow leopard habitats (Hanson, Schutgens, & Baral, 2018; Jackson, 2015;
Jackson & Lama, 2016; Vannelli, Hampton, Namgail, & Black, 2019). Snow leopard-based
ecotourism provides an opportunity to secure livelihoods and reduce poverty of the
communities living in ecotourism sites across Ladakh (Chandola, 2012; Jackson, 2015).
To understand the role of snow leopard-based ecotourism in uplifting the financial profile
of local communities, mitigating large carnivore – human conflict and eventually changing
attitudes towards large carnivores in Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India, we compared
the estimated financial gains of a snow leopard-based ecotourism to stated livestock
predation losses by snow leopards and wolves.