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Author (up) Aruge, S., Batool, H., Khan, F. M., Abbas, F. I., Janjua, S
Title A pilot study�genetic diversity and population structure of snow leopards of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, using molecular techniques. Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication PeerJ Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue 7672 Pages 1-14
Keywords Population, Genetics, Panthera uncia, Pakistan, Molecular markers
Abstract Background: The Hindu Kush and Karakoram mountain ranges in Pakistan�s northern areas are a natural habitat of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia syn. Uncia uncia) but the ecological studies on this animal are scarce since it is human shy by nature and lives in dif!cult mountainous tracts. The pilot study is conducted to exploit the genetic diversity and population structure of the snow leopard in this selected natural habitat of the member of the wildcat family in Pakistan.

Method: About 50 putative scat samples of snow leopard from !ve localities of Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistan) along with a control sample of zoo maintained male snow leopard were collected for comparison. Signi!cant quality and quantity of genomic DNA was extracted from scat samples using combined Zhang�phenol�chloroform method and successful ampli!cation of cytochrome c oxidase I gene (190 bp) using mini-barcode primers, seven simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers and Y-linked AMELY gene (200 bp) was done.

Results: Cytochrome c oxidase I gene sequencing suggested that 33/50 (66%) scat samples were of snow leopard. AMELY primer suggested that out of 33 ampli!ed samples, 21 (63.63%) scats were from male and 12 (36.36%) from female leopards. Through successful ampli!cation of DNA of 25 out of 33 (75.75%) scat samples using SSR markers, a total of 68 alleles on seven SSR loci were identi!ed, showing low heterozygosity, while high gene "ow between population.

Discussion: The low gene flow rate among the population results in low genetic diversity causing decreased diversi!cation. This affects the adaptability to climatic changes, thus ultimately resulting in decreased population size of the species.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1491
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Author (up) Augugliaro, C., Paniccia, C., Janchivlamdan, C., Monti, I. E., Boldbaatar, T., Munkhtsog, B.
Title Mammal inventory in the Mongolian Gobi, with the southeasternmost documented record of the Snow Leopard, Panthera uncia (Schreber, 1775), in the country Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Check List Abbreviated Journal
Volume 15 Issue 4 Pages 575-578
Keywords Camera trapping, desert, live trapping, mammal checklist, species richness, threatened species.
Abstract Studies on mammal diversity and distribution are an important source to develop conservation and management strategies.

The area located in southern Mongolia, encompassing the Alashan Plateau Semi-Desert and the Eastern Gobi Desert-Steppe ecoregions, is considered strategic for the conservation of threatened species. We surveyed the non-volant mammals in the Small Gobi-A Strictly Protected Area (SPA) and its surroundings, by using camera trapping, live trapping, and occasional sightings. We recorded 18 mammal species belonging to 9 families and 6 orders. Among them, 4 are globally threatened or near-threatened, 2 are included in the CITES Appendix I, and 2 are listed in the Appendix II. Moreover, we provide the southeasternmost record for the Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) in Mongolia, supported by photographic evidence. Our study highlights the importance of this protected area to preserve rare, threatened, and elusive species.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1486
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Author (up) Chetri, M, Odden, M., Sharma, K., Flagstad, O., Wegge, P
Title Estimating snow leopard density using fecal DNA in a large landscape in north-central Nepal Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Global Ecology and Conservation Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue 17 Pages 1-8
Keywords Panthera uncia, Density, Annapurna-Manaslu landscape, Noninvasive, Spatial scale
Abstract Although abundance estimates have a strong bearing on the conservation status of a

species, less than 2% of the global snow leopard distribution range has been sampled

systematically, mostly in small survey areas. In order to estimate snow leopard density

across a large landscape, we collected 347 putative snow leopard scats from 246 transects

(490 km) in twenty-six 5  5km sized sampling grid cells within 4393 km2 in Annapurna-

Manaslu, Nepal. From 182 confirmed snow leopard scats, 81 were identified as belonging

to 34 individuals; the remaining were discarded for their low (<0.625) quality index. Using

maximum likelihood based spatial capture recapture analysis, we developed candidate

model sets to test effects of various covariates on density and detection of scats on transects.

The best models described the variation in density as a quadratic function of

elevation and detection as a linear function of topography. The average density estimate of

snow leopards for the area of interest within Nepal was 0.95 (SE 0.19) animals per 100 km2

(0.66e1.41 95% CL) with predicted densities varying between 0.1 and 1.9 in different parts,

thus highlighting the heterogeneity in densities as a function of habitat types. Our density

estimate was low compared to previous estimates from smaller study areas. Probably,

estimates from some of these areas were inflated due to locally high abundances in overlap

zones (hotspots) of neighboring individuals, whose territories probably range far beyond

study area borders. Our results highlight the need for a large-scale approach in snow

leopard monitoring, and we recommend that methodological problems related to spatial

scale are taken into account in future snow leopard research.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1478
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Author (up) Farhadinia, M. S., Maheshwari, A., Nawaz, M. A., Ambarli, H., Gritsina, M. A., Koshkin, M. A., Rosen, T., Hinsley, A., Macdonald, D. W.
Title Belt and Road Initiative may create new supplies for illegal wildlife trade in large carnivores Type Miscellaneous
Year 2019 Publication Nature Ecology & Evolution Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1487
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Author (up) Farrington, J., Tsering, D.
Title Human-snow leopard conflict in the Chang Tang region of Tibet, China Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Biological Conservation Abbreviated Journal
Volume 237 Issue Pages 504-513
Keywords
Abstract In April 2006, the authors conducted a preliminary human-wildlife conflict survey of 300 livestock herders in Shainza, Nyima, and Tsonyi Counties in northern Tibet's sparsely-populated Chang Tang region. This survey revealed a widespread but previously undocumented problem of snow leopard predation on livestock. In June and July 2007, an exploratory human-snow leopard conflict survey of 234 herders in the above counties found that 65.8% of respondents had experienced conflict with snow leopards in the form of livestock kills, with 77.3% of the most recent incidents occurring in the previous five years. These incidents were concentrated in winter and spring and a surprising 39.6% of incidents occurred during the day, often with herders present. Fifteen exploratory snow leopard sign transects totaling 14.85 km were conducted. Abundant snow leopard scrapes as well as pug marks were found, confirming the presence of these secretive cats. A total of 521 blue sheep were counted on and off sign transects indicating widespread availability of wild snow leopard prey. The recent surge in reported snow leopard conflict is likely due to increasing human and livestock populations, establishment of two multiple-use nature reserves accompanied by improved enforcement of wildlife protection laws, and a regional gun and trap ban launched in 2001. However, retaliatory killing of snow leopards in the survey area continues to be a potential threat. Therefore, measures are needed to reduce livestock kills by snow leopards, including corral improvements, improved guarding, establishment of livestock compensation schemes, and educating herders about snow leopard behavior.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1600
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Author (up) Hanson, J. H., Schutgens, M., Leader-Williams, N.
Title What factors best explain attitudes to snow leopards in the Nepal Himalayas? Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication PLoS ONE Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages 1-19
Keywords
Abstract The snow leopard Panthera uncia is a vulnerable wild felid native to mountainous regions of 12 Asian countries. It faces numerous overlapping threats, including killings by herders retaliating against livestock losses, the illegal wildlife trade, loss of prey and habitat, infra- structure, energy and mining developments, and climate change. The species ranges over large territories that often lie outside of protected areas (PA), so coexistence with human populations across its range is key to its persistence. Human attitudes to snow leopards may be an important factor to consider in reducing overlapping threats to this species. How- ever, this nexus has not been widely studied to date. Attitudes to snow leopard conserva- tion, including actors and interventions, may also be a significant aspect of coexistence. These have also received limited empirical attention. This study therefore explored human attitudes to snow leopards and to snow leopard conservation, the motivations for these atti- tudes and the individual factors that best explained them. Using systematic sampling, a quantitative questionnaire was administered to 705 households at two sites in the Nepal Himalayas: Sagarmatha National Park, with a less decentralised governance model, and Annapurna Conservation Area, with a more decentralised model. Linear regression models were the main form of analysis. Based on these, attitudes to snow leopard conservation emerged as the strongest influence on local attitudes to snow leopards, and vice versa. This was true in both PAs, despite their differing management regimes. Other important explana- tory factors included numbers of livestock owned, years of education, household livelihoods and age. Furthermore, a positive intrinsic motivation was the most common reason given by respondents to explain their attitudes to both snow leopards and snow leopard conservation. These findings demonstrate that, in addition to the usual suite of factors that influence atti- tudes to a species, the way in which its conservation is pursued and perceived also needs consideration. How the snow leopard is conserved may strongly influence its coexistence with local communities.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1489
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Author (up) Jamtsho, Y., Katel, O.
Title Livestock depredation by snow leopard and Tibetan wolf: Implications for herders&#65533; livelihoods in Wangchuck Centennial National Park, Bhutan Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Springer Open Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue 9:1 Pages 1-10
Keywords Wildlife-livestock conflicts, Endangered predators, Protected area, Income loss
Abstract Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a serious problem in many parts of the world, and Bhutan&#65533;s Wangchuck Centennial

National Park (WCNP) is no exception. Located in the remote alpine areas of the eastern Himalaya, wildlife species

such as snow leopard (SL) and Tibetan wolf (TW) are reported to kill livestock in many parts of the Park. Such

depredation is believed to have affected the livelihoods of high-altitude herding communities, resulting in conflicts

between them. This study provides analysis on the extent of livestock depredation by wildlife predators such as SL

and TW and examines its implications for the livelihoods of herding communities of Choekhortoe and Dhur regions

of WCNP. Using semi-structured questionnaires, all herders (n = 38) in the study area were interviewed. The questions

pertained to livestock population, frequency of depredation and income lost due to depredation in the last five years

from 2012 to 2016. This study recorded 2,815 livestock heads in the study area, with an average herd size of 74.1 stock.

The average herd size holding showed a decreasing trend over the years, and one of the reasons cited by the herders

is depredation by SL and TW and other predators. This loss equated to an average annual financial loss equivalent to

10.2% (US$837) of their total per capita cash income. Such losses have resulted in negative impacts on herders&#65533;

livelihood; e.g. six herders (2012-2016) even stopped rearing livestock and resorted to an alternate source of cash

income. The livestock intensification programmes, including pasture improvement through allowing controlled

burning, and financial compensation, may be some potential short-term solutions to reduce conflict between herders

and predators. Issuing permits for cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) collection only to the herders and instilling the

sense of stewardship to highland herders may be one of the long-term solutions.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1479
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Author (up) Janjua,S., Peters, J. L., Weckworth, B., Abbas, F. I., Bahn, Volker, Johansson, O., Rooney, T.P.
Title Improving our conservation genetic toolkit: ddRAD-seq for SNPs in snow leopards Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Conservation Genetic Resource Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages
Keywords
Abstract Snow leopards (Panthera uncia) are an enigmatic, high-altitude species whose challenging habitat, low population densities

and patchy distribution have presented challenges for scientists studying its biology, population structure, and genetics.

Molecular scatology brings a new hope for conservation efforts by providing valuable insights about snow leopards, including

their distribution, population densities, connectivity, habitat use, and population structure for assigning conservation units.

However, traditional amplification of microsatellites from non-invasive sources of DNA are accompanied by significant

genotyping errors due to low DNA yield and poor quality. These errors can lead to incorrect inferences in the number of

individuals and estimates of genetic diversity. Next generation technologies have revolutionized the depth of information

we can get from a species' genome. Here we used double digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (ddRAD-seq),

a well-established technique for studying non-model organisms, to develop a reference sequence library for snow leopards

using blood samples from five Mongolian individuals. Our final data set reveals 4504 loci with a median size range of 221 bp.

We identified 697 SNPs and low nucleotide diversity (0.00032) within these loci. However, the probability that two random

individuals will share identical genotypes is about 10-168. We developed probes for DNA capture using this sequence library

which can now be used for genotyping individuals from scat samples. Genetic data from ddRAD-seq will be invaluable for

conducting population and landscape scale studies that can inform snow leopard conservation strategies.
Address Snow leopard · ddRAD-seq · Next generation sequencing · SNP discovery
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1483
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Author (up) Kalashnikova, Y. A., Karnaukhov, A. S., Dubinin, M. Y., Poyarkov, A. D., Rozhnov, V. V.
Title POTENTIAL HABITAT OF SNOW LEOPARD (PANTHERA UNCIA, FELINAE) IN SOUTH SIBERIA AND ADJACENT TERRITORIES BASED ON THE MAXIMUM ENTROPY DISTRIBUTION MODEL Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Abbreviated Journal
Volume 98 Issue 3 Pages 332-342
Keywords Snow leopard, irbis, Panthera uncia, Maxent, habitat model, potential habitat
Abstract The snow leopard is an endangered large felid inhabiting highlands of 12 Asian countries. It is distributed

across vast territories and adequate modern methods are required for mapping its potential habitats. The goal

of the present study is to create a model of snow leopard potential habitat within the northern part of its range

in Russia (and adjacent territories of Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan). More than 5 years of observations

(total number of presence points = 449), environmental variables and the maximum entropy distribution

method (Maxent) are used. The resulting map demonstrates that a suitable habitat (probability of the animal&#65533;s

presence between 0.5 and 1) of the northern population of snow leopard in Russia occupies 16500 km2

with a buffer of transient territories (probability between 0.25 and 0.49) covering 32800 km2. Most of a suitable

habitat within the study area is associated with the Altai Mountains, Western Sayan Mountains, Sangilen

Plateau, Tsagan-Shibetu and Shapshal. One third of the suitable habitat lies within areas of a varying protection

status. The results of modeling are of importance both for scientists and conservation managers, as they

allow for leopard occurrence to be predicted, supporting research on and the conservation of the species.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1480
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Author (up) Li, J., Weckworth, B. V., McCarthy, T. M., Liang, X., Liu, Y., Xing, R., Li, D., Zhang, Y., Xue, Y., Jackson, R., Xiao, L., Cheng, C., Li, S., Xu, F., Ma, M., Yang, X., Diao, K., Gao, Y., Song, D., Nowell, K., He, B., Li, Y., McCarthy, K., Paltsyn, M. Y., Sharma, K., Mishra, C., Schaller, G. B., Lu, Z., Beissinger, S. R.
Title Defining priorities for global snow leopard conservation landscapes Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Biological Conservation Abbreviated Journal
Volume 241 Issue 108387 Pages 1-10
Keywords Panthera uncia, Conservation prioritization, Landscape Conservation Unit, Connectivity, Linkage
Abstract The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is an apex predator on the Tibetan Plateau and in the surrounding mountain ranges. It is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN's Red List. The large home range and low population densities of this species mandate range-wide conservation prioritization. Two efforts for range-wide snow leopard conservation planning have been conducted based on expert opinion, but both were constrained by limited knowledge and the difficulty of evaluating complex processes, such as connectivity across large landscapes. Here, we compile > 6000 snow leopard occurrence records from across its range and corresponding environmental covariates to build a model of global snow leopard habitat suitability. Using spatial prioritization tools, we identi!ed seven large continuous habitat patches as global snow leopard Landscape Conservation Units (LCUs). Each LCU faces differing threat levels from poaching, anthropogenic development, and climate change. We identi!ed ten po- tential inter-LCU linkages, and centrality analysis indicated that Tianshan-Pamir-Hindu Kush-Karakorum, Altai, and the linkage between them play a critical role in maintaining the global snow leopard habitat connectivity.
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Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1490
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