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Jumabay, K., Wegge, P., Mishra, C., Sharma, K. (2013). Large carnivores and low diversity of optimal prey: a comparison of the diets of snow leopards Panthera uncia and wolves Canis lupus in Sarychat-Ertash Reserve in Kyrgyzstan. Oryx, , 1–7.
Abstract: In the cold and arid mountains of Central Asia, where the diversity and abundance of wild ungulates
are generally low, resource partitioning among coexisting carnivores is probably less distinct than in prey-rich areas. Thus, similar-sized carnivores are likely to compete for food. We compared the summer diets of snow leopards Panthera uncia and wolves Canis lupus in Sarychat-Ertash Reserve in the Tien-Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan, based on analysis of genetically confirmed scats. Abundances of
the principal prey species, argali Ovis ammon and Siberian ibex Capra sibirica, were estimated from field surveys. The diets consisted of few species, with high interspecific overlap (Pianka’s index50.91). Argali was the predominant prey, with .50% frequency of occurrence in both snow leopard and wolf scats. This was followed by Siberian ibex and marmots Marmota baibacina. Being largely unavailable, remains of livestock were not detected in any of the scats. In the snow leopard diet, proportions of argali and ibex were in
line with the relative availabilities of these animals in the Reserve. This was in contrast to the diet of wolf, where argali occurred according to availability and ibex was significantly underrepresented. The high diet overlap indicates that the two predators might compete for food when the diversity of profitable, large prey is low. Competition may be more intense in winter, when marmots are not available. Hunting of argali and ibex outside the Reserve may be unsustainable and therefore reduce their abundances over time. This will
affect both predators negatively and intensify competition for food. Reduction in ibex populations will directly affect the snow leopard, and the wolf is likely to be indirectly affected as a result of increased snow leopard predation of argali.
Ming, M., Chundawat R.S., Jumabay, K., Wu, Y., Aizeizi, Q., & Zhu, M. H. (2006). Camera trapping of snow leopards for the photo capture rate and population size in the Muzat Valley of Tianshan Mountains. Acta Theriologica Sinica, 52(4), 788–793.
Abstract: The main purpose of this work was to study the use of infrared trapping cameras to estimate snow leopard Uncia uncia population size in a specific study area. This is the first time a study of this nature has taken place in China. During 71 days of field work, a total of 36 cameras were set up in five different small vales of the Muzat Valley adjacent to the Tomur Nature Reserve in Xinjiang Province, E80ø35' – 81ø00' and N42ø00' – 42ø10', elevation 2'300 – 3'000 m, from 18th October to 27th December 2005. We expended approximately 2094 trap days and nights total (c. 50'256 hours). At least 32 pictures of snow leopards, 22 pictures of other wild species (e.g. chukor, wild pig, ibex, red fox, cape hare) and 72 pictures of livestock were taken by the passive Cam Trakker (CT) train monitor in about 16 points of the Muzat Valley. The movement distance of snow leopard was 3-10 km/day. And the capture rate or photographic rate of snow leopard was 1.53%. Meanwhile, 20 transects were run and 31 feces sample were collected. According to 32 photos, photographic rate and sign survey after snowing on the spot, were about 5-8 individuals of snow leopards in the research area, and the minimum density of snow leopard in Muzat Valley was 2.0 – 3.2 individuals/100 km2. We observed the behavior of ibex for 77.3 hours, and found about 20 groups and a total of approximately 264 ibexes in the research area.
Murali, R., Ikhagvajav, P., Amankul, V., Jumabay, K., Sharma,
K., Bhatnagar, Y. V., Suryawanshi, K., Mishra, C. (2020). Ecosystem service dependence in livestock and crop-based. Journal of Arid Environments, 180, 1–10.
Abstract: Globally, in semi-arid and arid landscapes, there is an
ongoing transition from livestock-production systems to crop-production
systems, and in many parts of Asia's arid mountains, mining for minerals
is also increasing. These changes are accompanied by a change in the
generation and quality of ecosystem services (ES), which can impact
human well-being. In this study, to better understand the impacts of
such transitions, we quantified ES in two crop-based and three
livestock-based production systems in the arid and semi-arid landscapes
of the High Himalaya and Central Asia, specifically in the Indian
Himalaya, Kyrgyz Tien Shan, and Mongolian Altai. Our results showed 1)
high economic dependence (3.6–38 times the respective annual household
income) of local farmers on provisioning ES, with the economic value of
ES being greater in livestock-production systems (7.4–38 times the
annual household income) compared to crop-production systems (3.6–3.7
times the annual household income); 2) ES input into cashmere
production, the main commodity from the livestock-production systems,
was 13–18 times greater than the price of cashmere received by the
farmer; and 3) in the livestock production systems affected by mining,
impacts on ES and quality of life were reported to be negative by
majority of the respondents. We conclude that livestock-based systems
may be relatively more vulnerable to degrading impacts of mining and
other ongoing developments due to their dependence on larger ES resource
catchments that tend to have weaker land tenure and are prone to
fragmentation. In contrast to the general assumption of low value of ES
in arid and semi-arid landscapes due to relatively low primary
productivity, our study underscores the remarkably high importance of ES
in supporting local livelihoods.