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Author Krofel, M., Groff, C., Oberosler, V., Augugliaro, C., Rovero, F. url  openurl
  Title Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) predation and consumption of an adult yak in the Mongolian Altai. Type Note
  Year (down) 2021 Publication Ethology Ecology & Evolution Abbreviated Journal EEE  
  Volume Issue Pages 1-8  
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  Abstract The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is an apex predator of mountainous ecosystems in Central Asia, characterised by relatively long feeding times and low kill rates (Johansson et al. 2015; Mallon et al. 2016). Predation is mainly focused on wild ungulates and the vast majority of animals killed by snow leopards are smaller than 100 kg (Lovari et al. 2013). Throughout most of their range, Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and argali (Ovis ammon) represent the most important prey (Hunter 2015). These species weigh up to 180 kg, which was suggested to be near the maximum limit of the prey size that snow leopard can handle (i.e. about 3 times its size) (e.g. Schaller 1977; Hunter 2015). Accordingly, researchers generally assume that prey like adult yaks (Bos grunniens) with an average body weight of 250 kg (Bagchi & Mishra 2006), are too large to be killed by snow leopards (e.g. Devkota et al. 2013; Chetri et al. 2017). In contrast, local livestock herders report that snow leopard can also kill larger prey, including adult yaks (e.g. Li et al. 2013; Suryawanshi et al. 2013), but confirmed records of snow leopard killing prey of this size appear to be lacking in the literature. We also have very limited knowledge about the consumption of snow leopard kills, and the scavengers, including conspecifics, that are using them (Fox & Chundawat 2016; Schaller 2016). Here we report on a predation event and the following consumption process of a snow leopard kill, a free-roaming adult female yak, which we studied in 2019 using snow tracking, direct observation and camera trapping in the Mongolian Altai.  
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  Call Number Serial 1634  
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Author Alexander, J. S., Agvaantseren, B., Gongor, E., Mijiddorj, T. N., Piaopiao, T., Stephen Redpath, S., Young, J., Mishra, C. url  openurl
  Title Assessing the Effectiveness of a Community-based Livestock Insurance Program Type Journal Article
  Year (down) 2021 Publication Environmental Management Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue Pages  
  Keywords Large carnivores, Snow leopard conservation, Human-wildlife conflicts, Livestock insurance, Community conservation, Human-wildlife co-existence, Snow leopard  
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  Call Number Serial 1635  
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Author Sharma, R. K., Singh, R. url  openurl
  Title Over 100 Years of Snow Leopard Research: A Spatially Explicit Review of the State of Knowledge in the Snow Leopard Range. Type Technical Report WWF
  Year (down) 2021 Publication Research Gate Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume May 2021 Issue May 2021 Pages 1-43  
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  Abstract Executive Summary: Evolved to live in some of the world’s highest and harshest habitats, the elusive and rare snow leopards (Panthera uncia) are undisputed icons of High Asia. Across their distributional range in Central and South Asia, the snow leopard’s habitat spans diverse landscapes, with livestock herding being the most dominant form of land use. As a result, areas inhabited by snow leopards and people often overlap, creating challenges as well as opportunities for their conservation. Snow leopard conservation has received increasing attention in the past two decades and global interest in protecting this unique high-mountain cat continues to rise. However, effective and efficient snow leopard conservation initiatives require multi-dimensional research and collaboration among a diverse array of actors. National governments in snow leopard range, for instance, have repeatedly pledged their support for the conservation of the animal and the breathtaking landscapes they inhabit. These landscapes house an array of unique high-altitude wildlife and provide homes and life-sustaining natural resources to hundreds of millions of people. The mountains of High Asia also form the headwaters of 20 major river basins, an important water source for 22 countries (Sindorf et al., 2014). More than 2 billion people live in these basins which overlap the snow leopard range. Given the growing interest in and commitment towards conservation of snow leopards and their habitats, it is crucial to examine the depth and breadth of knowledge currently available to inform conservation efforts and identify gaps in that knowledge. We reviewed over 100 years of published research on snow leopards to examine its temporal and spatial trends across an array of thematic areas. Snow leopard research intensified in the 1970s and studies on snow leopards have continued to increase exponentially since then. However, just four hotspots of snow leopard research (sites with continued multi-year research) have emerged, with less than 23% of the snow leopard range being researched. Nepal, India and China have conducted the most snow leopard research, followed by Mongolia and Pakistan. Our analysis revealed that snow leopard research was highly focussed on ecological research followed by studies on human-wildlife conflict. Most ecological studies focused on estimating the number and distribution of snow leopards and prey species. However, conservationists have surveyed less than 3% of the snow leopard range using rigorous and scientifically acceptable abundance estimation approaches. The lack of attention to the human dimensions of conservation was particularly stark, especially given that the majority of the snow leopard range is inhabited by local communities dependent on livestock herding. More importantly, very few studies evaluated the effectiveness of conservation actions. A lack of evidence demonstrating and quantifying the impacts of conservation interventions is a significant knowledge gap in snow leopard research. In this review, we identify and suggest the high-priority research necessary for effective conservation planning for snow leopards and their multiple-use habitat in High Asia.  
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  Call Number Serial 1636  
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Author Korablev, M. P., Poyarkov, A. D., Karnaukhov, A. S., Zvychaynaya, E. Y., Kuksin, A. N., Malykh, S. V., Istomov, S. V., Spitsyn, S. V., Aleksandrov, D. Y., Hernandez-Blanco, J. A., Munkhtsog, B., Munkhtogtokh, O., Putintsev, N. I., Vereshchagin, A. S., Becmurody, A., Afzunov, S., Rozhnov, V. V. url  openurl
  Title Large-scale and fine-grain population structure and genetic diversity of snow leopards (Panthera uncia Schreber, 1776) from the northern and western parts of the range with an emphasis on the Russian population. Type Journal Article
  Year (down) 2021 Publication Conservation Genetics Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue Pages  
  Keywords Snow leopard, Panthera uncia, Microsatellites, Heterozygosity, Population structure, Noninvasive survey, Scat, Subspecies  
  Abstract The snow leopard (Panthera uncia Schreber, 1776) population in Russia and Mongolia is situated at the northern edge of the range, where instability of ecological conditions and of prey availability may serve as prerequisites for demographic instability and, consequently, for reducing the genetic diversity. Moreover, this northern area of the species distribution is connected with the western and central parts by only a few small fragments of potential habitats in the Tian-Shan spurs in China and Kazakhstan. Given this structure of the range, the restriction of gene flow between the northern and other regions of snow leopard distribution can be expected. Under these conditions, data on population genetics would be extremely important for assessment of genetic diversity, population structure and gene flow both at regional and large-scale level. To investigate large-scale and fine-grain population structure and levels of genetic diversity we analyzed 108 snow leopards identified from noninvasively collected scat samples from Russia and Mongolia (the northern part of the range) as well as from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (the western part of the range) using panel of eight polymorphic microsatellites. We found low to moderate levels of genetic diversity in the studied populations. Among local habitats, the highest heterozygosity and allelic richness were recorded in Kyrgyzstan (He = 0.66 ± 0.03, Ho = 0.70 ± 0.04, Ar = 3.17) whereas the lowest diversity was found in a periphery subpopulation in Buryatia Republic of Russia (He = 0.41 ± 0.12, Ho = 0.29 ± 0.05, Ar = 2.33). In general, snow leopards from the western range exhibit greater genetic diversity (He = 0.68 ± 0.04, Ho = 0.66 ± 0.03, Ar = 4.95) compared to those from the northern range (He = 0.60 ± 0.06, Ho = 0.49 ± 0.02, Ar = 4.45). In addition, we have identified signs of fragmentation in the northern habitat, which have led to significant genetic divergence between subpopulations in Russia. Multiple analyses of genetic structure support considerable genetic differentiation between the northern and western range parts, which may testify to subspecies subdivision of snow leopards from these regions. The observed patterns of genetic structure are evidence for delineation of several management units within the studied populations, requiring individual approaches for conservation initiatives, particularly related to translocation events. The causes for the revealed patterns of genetic structure and levels of genetic diversity are discussed.  
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  Call Number Serial 1633  
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Author Bhatia, S., Suryawanshi, K., Redpath, S., Namgail, S., Mishra, C. url  openurl
  Title Understanding People's Relationship With Wildlife in Trans-Himalayan Folklore. Type Journal Article
  Year (down) 2021 Publication Frontiers in Environmental Science Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 9 Issue 595169 Pages 1-10  
  Keywords attitudes, culture, human-wildlife, narrative, stories, storytelling  
  Abstract People's views and values for wild animals are often a result of their experiences and traditional knowledge. Local folklore represents a resource that can enable an understanding of the nature of human-wildlife interactions, especially the underlying cultural values. Using archival searches and semi-structured interviews, we collected narratives about the ibex (Capra sibirica) (n = 69), and its predators, the wolf (Canis lupus) (n = 52) and the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) (n = 43), in Ladakh, India. We compared these stories to those of a mythical carnivore called seng ge or snow lion (n = 19), frequently referenced in local Tibetan Buddhist folklore and believed to share many of the traits commonly associated with snow leopards (except for livestock depredation). We then categorized the values along social-cultural, ecological and psychological dimensions. We found that the ibex was predominantly associated with utilitarianism and positive symbolism. Both snow leopard and wolf narratives referenced negative affective and negative symbolic values, though more frequently in the case of wolves. Snow leopard narratives largely focused on utilitarian and ecologistic values. In contrast, snow lion narratives were mostly associated with positive symbolism. Our results suggest that especially for snow leopards and wolves, any potentially positive symbolic associations appeared to be overwhelmed by negative sentiments because of their tendency to prey on livestock, unlike in the case of the snow lion. Since these values reflect people's real and multifarious interactions with wildlife, we recommend paying greater attention to understanding the overlaps between natural and cultural heritage conservation to facilitate human-wildlife coexistence.  
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  Call Number Serial 1632  
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Author Sharma, R. K., Sharma, K., Borchers, D., Bhatnagar, Y V., Suryawanshi, K. R., Mishra, C. url  openurl
  Title Spatial variation in population-density of snow leopards in a multiple use landscape in Spiti Valley, Trans-Himalaya Type Research Article
  Year (down) 2021 Publication PloS One Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue Pages 1-14  
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  Abstract The endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia occurs in human use landscapes in the mountains of South and Central Asia. Conservationists generally agree that snow leopards must be conserved through a land-sharing approach, rather than land-sparing in the form of strictly protected areas. Effective conservation through land-sharing requires a good understanding of how snow leopards respond to human use of the landscape. Snow leopard density is expected to show spatial variation within a landscape because of variation in the intensity of human use and the quality of habitat. However, snow leopards have been difficult to enumerate and monitor. Variation in the density of snow leopards remains undocumented, and the impact of human use on their populations is poorly understood. We examined spatial variation in snow leopard density in Spiti Valley, an important snow leopard landscape in India, via spatially explicit capture-recapture analysis of camera trap data. We camera trapped an area encompassing a minimum convex polygon of 953 km2. Our best model estimated an overall density of 0.5 (95% CI: 0.31–0.82) mature snow leopards per 100 km2. Using AIC, our best model showed the density of snow leopards to depend on estimated wild prey density, movement about activity centres to depend on altitude, and the expected number of encounters at the activity centre to depend on topography. Models that also used livestock biomass as a density covariate ranked second, but the effect of livestock was weak. Our results highlight the importance of maintaining high density pockets of wild prey populations in multiple-use landscapes to enhance snow leopard conservation.  
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  Call Number Serial 1637  
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Author Weckworth, B. url  openurl
  Title Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) Genetics: The Knowledge Gaps, Needs, and Implications for Conservation Type Journal Article
  Year (down) 2021 Publication Journal of the Indian Institute of Science Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue Pages 1-12  
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  Abstract Conservation geneticists apply genetic theory and techniques to preserve endangered species as dynamic entities, capable of coping with environmental change and thus minimizing their risk of extinction. Snow leopards are an umbrella species of High Asia, and a keystone for maintaining biodiversity within this fragile ecosystem. A clear understanding of patterns of snow leopard genetic diversity is critical for guiding conservation initiatives that will ensure their long-term persistence. Yet, a comprehensive analysis of snow leopard genetic variation is lacking. The number of published snow leopard genetic studies is far fewer than for other imperiled big cats. Here, I review the limited genetic work to date on snow leopards and the significant knowledge gaps to be filled. An emphasis must be placed on describing and understanding population genetic dynamics within and among meta-populations to provide information about the interactions between landscapes and the micro-evolutionary processes of gene flow and genetic drift. These results can be used to evaluate the levels and dynamics of genetic and demographic connectivity. A lack of connectivity, particularly in the low density, small populations that typify snow leopards, can lead to multiple demographic and genetic consequences, including inbreeding depression, loss of adaptive potential, and heightened susceptibility to demographic and environmental stochasticity. New efforts in conservation research on snow leopards should focus on this line of inquiry, and the opportunities and challenges for that are outlined and discussed to encourage the required, and considerable, transboundary partnerships and collaborations needed to be successful.  
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Author Karki, A., Panthi, S. url  openurl
  Title Factors affecting livestock depredation by snow leopards (Panthera uncia) in the Himalayan region of Nepal Type Journal Article
  Year (down) 2021 Publication PeerJ Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 9 Issue e11575 Pages 1-14  
  Keywords Conflict,Habitat,Himalaya,Livestockdepredation,Modeling,Snowleopard,Wildlife management  
  Abstract The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) found in central Asia is classified as vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Every year, large number of livestock are killed by snow leopards in Nepal, leading to economic loss to local communities and making human-snow leopard conflict a major threat to snow leopard conservation. We conducted formal and informal stakeholder’s interviews to gather information related to livestock depredation with the aim to map the attack sites by the snow leopard. These sites were further validated by district forest office staffs to assess sources of bias. Attack sites older than 3 years were removed from the survey. We found 109 attack sites and visited all the sites for geo location purpose (GPS points of all unique sites were taken). We maintained at least a 100 m distance between attack locations to ensure that each attack location was unique, which resulted in 86 unique locations. A total of 235 km2 was used to define livestock depredation risk zone during this study. Using Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling, we found that distance to livestock sheds, distance to paths, aspect, and distance to roads were major contributing factors to the snow leopard’s attacks. We identified 13.64 km2 as risk zone for livestock depredation from snow leopards in the study area. Furthermore, snow leopards preferred to attack livestock near livestock shelters, far from human paths and at moderate distance from motor roads. These identified attack zones should be managed both for snow leopard conservation and livestock protection in order to balance human livelihoods while protecting snow leopards and their habitats.  
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  Call Number Serial 1640  
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Author Young, J. C., Alexander, J. S., Bijoor, A., Sharma, D., Dutta, A., Agvaantseren, B., Mijiddorj, T. N., Jumabay, K., Amankul, V., Kabaeva, B., Nawaz, A., Khan, S., Ali, H., Rullman, J. S., Sharma, K., Murali, R., Mishra, C. url  openurl
  Title Community-Based Conservation for the Sustainable Management of Conservation Conflicts: Learning from Practitioners Type Journal
  Year (down) 2021 Publication Sustainability Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 13 Issue Pages 1-20  
  Keywords community-based conservation; snow leopards; participation; conflict; narratives; story- telling; conflict management  
  Abstract We explore the role of community-based conservation (CBC) in the sustainable management of conservation conflicts by examining the experiences of conservation practitioners trying to address conflicts between snow leopard conservation and pastoralism in Asian mountains. Practitioner experiences are examined through the lens of the PARTNERS principles for CBC (Presence, Aptness, Respect, Transparency, Negotiation, Empathy, Responsiveness, and Strategic Support) that represent an inclusive conservation framework for effective and ethical engagement with local communities. Case studies from India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Pakistan show that resilient relationships arising from respectful engagement and negotiation with local communities can provide a strong platform for robust conflict management. We highlight the heuristic value of documenting practitioner experiences in on-the-ground conflict management and community-based conservation efforts.  
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  Call Number Serial 1641  
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Author Samelius, G., Suryawanshi, K., Frank, J., Agvaantseren, B., Baasandamba, E., Mijiddorj, T., Johansson, O., Tumursukh, L., Mishra, C. url  openurl
  Title Keeping predators out: testing fences to reduce livestock depredation at night-time corrals Type Journal Article
  Year (down) 2020 Publication Oryx Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue Pages 1-7  
  Keywords Canis lupus, carnivore conservation, coexistence, conflict mitigation, conservation conflict, livestock depreda- tion, Panthera uncia, preventative measure  
  Abstract Livestock depredation by large carnivores is a global conservation challenge, and mitigation measures to reduce livestock losses are crucial for the coexistence of large carnivores and people. Various measures are employed to reduce livestock depredation but their effectiveness has rarely been tested. In this study, we tested the effectiveness of tall fences to reduce livestock losses to snow leopards Panthera uncia and wolves Canis lupus at night-time corrals at the winter camps of livestock herders in the Tost Mountains in southern Mongolia. Self-reported livestock losses at the fenced corrals were reduced from a mean loss of 3.9 goats and sheep per family and winter prior to the study to zero losses in the two winters of the study. In contrast, self-reported livestock losses in winter pastures, and during the rest of the year, when herders used different camps, remained high, which indicates that livestock losses were reduced because of the fences, not because of temporal variation in predation pressure. Herder attitudes towards snow leopards were positive and remained positive during the study, whereas attitudes towards wolves, which attacked livestock also in summer when herders moved out on the steppes, were negative and worsened during the study. This study showed that tall fences can be very effective at reducing night-time losses at corrals and we conclude that fences can be an important tool for snow leopard conservation and for facilitating the coexistence of snow leopards and people.  
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  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1492  
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