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Mishra, C., Allen, P., McCarthy, T., Madhusudan, M. D., Agvaantserengiin, B., & Prins H. (2003). The role of incentive programs in conserving the snow leopard (Vol. 17).
Abstract: Pastoralists and their livestock share much of the habitat of the snow leopard (Uncia uncia) across south and central Asia. The levels of livestock predation by the snow leopard and other carnivores are high, and retaliatory killing by the herders is a direct threat to carnivore populations. Depletion of wild prey by poaching and competition from livestock also poses an indirect threat to the region's carnivores. Conservationists working in these underdeveloped areas that face serious economic damage from livestock losses have turned to incentive programs to motivate local communities to protect carnivores. We describe a pilot incentive program in India that aims to offset losses due to livestock predation and to enhance wild prey density by creating livestock-free areas on common land. We also describe how income generation from handicrafts in Mongolia is helping curtail poaching and retaliatory killing of snow leopards. However, initiatives to offset the costs of living with carnivores and to make conservation beneficial to affected people have thus far been small, isolated, and heavily subsidized. Making these initiatives more comprehensive, expanding their coverage, and internalizing their costs are future challenged for the conservation of large carnivores such as the snow leopard.
Mishra, C., Van Wieren S., Ketner, P., Heitkonig, I., & Prins H. (2004). Competition between domestic livestock and wild bharal Pseudois nayaur in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. Journal of Animal Ecology, 73, 344–354.
Abstract: 1. The issue of competition between livestock and wild herbivores has remained contentious. We studied the diets and population structures of the mountain ungulate bharal Pseudois nayaur and seven species of livestock to evaluate whether or not they compete for forage. The study was conducted in the high altitude Spiti Valley, Indian Trans-Himalaya.
2. We compared resource (forage) availability and bharal population structures between rangelands differing in livestock density. Forage availability was estimated by clipping the standing graminoid biomass in sample plots. Livestock and bharal population structures were quantified through annual censuses. Seasonal diets of livestock were studied by direct observations, while those of bharal were quantified through feeding
signs on vegetation.
3. We found that livestock grazing causes a significant reduction in the standing crop of forage. Graminoid availability per unit livestock biomass was three times greater in a moderately grazed rangeland compared with an intensively grazed one.
4. There was considerable diet overlap among the herbivore species. In summer, bharal, yak Bos grunniens, horse Equus caballus, cow Bos indicus, and dzomo (yak-cow hybrids) fed predominantly on graminoids, while donkey E. asinus, sheep Ovis aries, and goat Capra hircus, consumed both graminoids and herbs. The summer diet of bharal was a subset of the diets of three livestock species. In winter, depleted graminoid availability caused bharal, yak and horse to consume relatively more herbs, while the remaining livestock species fed predominantly on graminoids. Diet overlap was less in winter but, in both seasons, all important forage species in the bharal diet were consumed
in substantial amounts by one or more species of livestock.
5. Comparison of the population structures of bharal between two rangelands differing in livestock density by
c. 30% yielded evidence of resource competition. In the intensively grazed rangeland, bharal density was 63% lower, and bharal population showed poorer performance (lower young : adult female ratios).
6.Synthesis and applications High diet overlap between livestock and bharal, together with density-dependent forage limitation, results in resource competition and a decline in bharal density. Under the present conditions of high livestock density and supplemental feeding, restricting livestock numbers and creating livestockfree areas are necessary measures for conserving Trans-Himalayan wild herbivores. Mediating competitive effects on bharal through supplemental feeding is not a feasible option.