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Author (up) Ale S. url  openurl
  Title Have snow leopards made a comeback to the Everest region of Nepal? Type Report
  Year 2005 Publication Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue Pages 1-21  
  Keywords snow; snow leopards; snow leopard; snow-leopards; snow-leopard; leopards; leopard; region; Nepal; Report; International; international snow leopard trust; International-Snow-Leopard-Trust; trust; program; 1960; endangered; Sagarmatha; High; Himalaya; tourism; impact; establishment; national; national park; National-park; park; 1980; area; Tibet; surveys; survey; status; Cats; cat; prey; research; project; sign; transects; transect; length; valley; Response; hunting; recovery; Himalayan; tahr; density; densities; range; pugmarks; sighting; 60; study; population; predators; predator; structure; prey species; prey-species; species; populations; mortality; effects; predation; population dynamics  
  Abstract In the 1960s, the endangered snow leopard was locally extirpated from the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) region of Nepal. In this Sherpa-inhabited high Himalaya, the flourishing tourism since the ascent of Mt Everest in 1953, has caused both prosperity and adverse impacts, the concern that catalyzed the establishment of Mt. Everest National Park in the region in 1976. In the late 1980s, there were reports that some transient snow leopards may have visited the area from adjoining Tibet, but no biological surveys exist to confirm the status of the cats and their prey. Have snow leopards finally returned to the top of the world? Exploring this question was the main purpose of this research project. We systematically walked altogether 24 sign transects covering over 13 km in length in three valleys, i.e. Namche, Phortse and Gokyo, of the park, and counted several snow leopard signs. The results indicated that snow leopards have made a comeback in the park in response to decades of protective measures, the virtual cessation of hunting and the recovery of the Himalayan tahr which is snow leopard's prey. The average sign density (4.2 signs/km and 2.5 sign sites/km) was comparable to that reported from other parts of the cats' range in the Himalaya. On this basis, we estimated the cat density in the Everest region between 1 to 3 cats per 100 sq km, a figure that was supported by different sets of pugmarks and actual sightings of snow leopards in the 60 km2 sample survey area. In the study area, tahr population had a low reproductive rate (e.g. kids-to-females ratio, 0.1, in Namche). Since predators can influence the size and the structure of prey species populations through mortality and through non-lethal effects or predation risk, snow leopards could have been the cause of the population dynamics of tahr in Sagarmtha, but this study could not confirm this speculation for which further probing may be required.  
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  Language English Summary Language Original Title  
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  ISSN ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Progress report for the International Snow Leopard Trust Small Grants Program. Approved no  
  Call Number SLN @ rana @ 1063 Serial 50  
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