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(1998). Biological diversity conservation. National strategy and action plan of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Abstract: The National strategy and action plan of the Republic of Uzbekistan was signed on April 1, 1998. Snow leopard was included in the list of rare and endangered animal species and referred to category 2 a rare, not endangered species. It is distributed in highlands of the West Tien Shan and Pamiro-Alay. Its population is 30-50 animals. Snow leopard is protected in the Chatkal, Gissar nature reserve, and Ugam-Chatkal national park.
Ale, S., & Brown, J. (2007). The contingencies of group size and vigilance (Vol. 9).
Abstract: Background: Predation risk declines non-linearly with one's own vigilance and the vigilance of others in the group (the 'many-eyes' effect). Furthermore, as group size increases, the individual's risk of predation may decline through dilution with more potential victims, but may increase if larger groups attract more predators. These are known, respectively, as the dilution effect and the attraction effect.
Assumptions: Feeding animals use vigilance to trade-off food and safety. Net feeding rate declines linearly with vigilance.
Question: How do the many-eyes, dilution, and attraction effects interact to influence the relationship between group size and vigilance behaviour?
Mathematical methods: We use game theory and the fitness-generating function to determine the ESS level of vigilance of an individual within a group.
Predictions: Vigilance decreases with group size as a consequence of the many-eyes and dilution effects but increases with group size as a consequence of the attraction effect, when they act independent of each other. Their synergetic effects on vigilance depend upon the relative strengths of each and their interactions. Regardless, the influence of other factors on vigilance – such as encounter rate with predators, predator lethality, marginal value of energy, and value of vigilance – decline with group size.
Anonymous. (2001). Snow leopard in Mongolia. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Abstract: This documents contains a review of the snow leopard's distribution, status and habitat in Mongolia, describes threats and conservation needs of the species, and outlines presently implemented actions. Five major threats are identified: 1) Poaching 2) loss of prey 3) degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitat 4) conflict with herders 5) lack of public awareness. Actions to mitigate the five major threats are recommended and future conservation priorities are set.
Augugliaro, C., Christe, P., Janchivlamdan, C., Baymanday, H.,
Zimmermann, F. (2020). Patterns of human interaction with snow leopard and co-predators
in the Mongolian western Altai: Current issues and perspectives. Global Ecology and Conservation, 24, 1–21.
Abstract: Large carnivores can cause considerable economic damage,
mainly due to livestock depredation. These conficts instigate negative
attitude towards their conservation, which could in the extreme case
lead to retaliatory killing. Here we focus on the snow leopard (Panthera
uncia), a species of conservation concern with particularly large
spatial requirements. We conducted the study in the Bayan Olgii
province, one of the poorest provinces of Mongolia, where the majority
of the human population are traditional herders. We conducted a survey
among herders (N 261) through a semi-structured questionnaire with the
aim to assess: the current and future herding practices and prevention
measures, herders’ perceptions and knowledge of the environmental
protection and hunting laws; the perceived livestock losses to snow
leopard, wolf (Canis lupus), and wolverine (Gulo gulo), as well as to
non-predatory factors; the key factors affecting livestock losses to
these three large carnivores; and, finally, the attitudes towards these
three large carnivores. Non-predatory causes of mortality were slightly
higher than depredation cases, representing 4.5% and 4.3% of livestock
holdings respectively. While no depredation of livestock was reported
from wolverines, snow leopard and wolf depredation made up 0.2% and 4.1%
of total livestock holdings, respectively. Herders’ attitudes towards
the three large carnivores were negatively affected by the magnitude of
the damages since they had a positive overall attitude towards both snow
leopard and wolverine, whereas the attitude towards wolf was negative.
We discuss conservation and management options to mitigate herder-snow
leopard impacts. To palliate the negative consequences of the increasing
trend in livestock numbers, herd size reduction should be encouraged by
adding economic value to the individual livestock and/or by promoting
alternative income and/or ecotourism. Furthermore, co-management between
government and stakeholders would help tackle this complex problem, with
herders playing a major role in the development of livestock management
strategies. Traditional practices, such as regularly shifting campsites
and using dogs and corrals at night, could reduce livestock losses
caused by snow leopards.
Bohnett, E., Holmberg, J., Faryabi, S. P., An, L., Ahmad, B., Rashid, W., Ostrowski, S. (2023). Comparison of two individual identification algorithms for snow leopards (Panthera uncia) after automated detection. Ecological Informatics, 77(102214), 1–14.
Abstract: Photo-identification of individual snow leopards (Panthera uncia) is the primary data source for density estimation via capture-recapture statistical methods. To identify individual snow leopards in camera trap imagery, it is necessary to match individuals from a large number of images from multiple cameras and historical catalogues, which is both time-consuming and costly. The camouflaged snow leopards also make it difficult for machine learning to classify photos, as they blend in so well with the surrounding mountain environment, rendering applicable software solutions unavailable for the species. To potentially make snow leopard individual identification available via an artificial intelligence (AI) software interface, we first trained and evaluated image classification techniques for a convolutional neural network, pose invariant embeddings (PIE) (a triplet loss network), and compared the accuracy of PIE to that of the HotSpotter algorithm (a SIFT-based algorithm). Data were acquired from a curated library of free-ranging snow leopards taken in Afghanistan between 2012 and 2019 and from captive animals in zoos in Finland, Sweden, Germany, and the United States. We discovered several flaws in the initial PIE model, such as a small amount of background matching, that was addressed, albeit likely not fixed, using background subtraction (BGS) and left-right mirroring (LR) techniques which demonstrated reasonable accuracy (Rank 1: 74% Rank-5: 92%) comparable to the Hotspotter results (Rank 1: 74% Rank 2: 84%)The PIE BGS LR model, in conjunction with Hotspotter, yielded the following results: Rank-1: 85%, Rank-5: 95%, Rank-20: 99%. In general, our findings indicate that PIE BGS LR, in conjunction with HotSpotter, can classify snow leopards more accurately than using either algorithm alone.
De Groot, H., Van Swieten, P., & Aalberse, R. C. (1990). Evidence for a Fel d I-like molecule in the “big cats” (Felidae species). J Allergy Clin Immunol, 86(1), 107–116.
Abstract: In this study, we investigated the cross-reactivity pattern of IgE and IgG4 antibodies to the major feline allergen, Fel d I. We studied the IgE and IgG4 response of 11 cat-allergic patients against Fel d I-like structures in eight members of the Felidae family: ocelot, puma, serval, siberian tiger, lion, jaguar, snow leopard, and caracal. Hair from these “big cats” was collected, extracted, and used in a RAST system and histamine-release test. By means of a RAST-inhibition assay with affinity-purified Fel d I from cat dander, it was established that, in the Felidae species, a Fel d I equivalent is present that reacts with IgE and IgG4 antibodies. We found that all patients had cross-reacting IgE antibodies to seven of the Felidae tested; no IgE antibodies reactive with the caracal were found. Eight of 10 patients with IgG4 antibodies directed to cat dander also had IgG4 antibodies directed to several Felidae species, including the caracal. However, the correlation between the IgE and the IgG4 antibody specificity was low, indicating that, in the case of Fel d I IgE and IgG4, antibodies do not necessarily have the same specificity.
Ferretti, F., Lovari, S. (2016). Predation may counteract climatic change as a driving force for movements of mountain ungulates.
Abstract: Temperature variations are expected to influence altitudinal movements of mountain herbivores and, in
turn, those of their predators, but relevant information is scarce. We evaluated monthly relationships
between temperature and altitude used by a large mountain-dwelling herbivore, the Himalayan tahr
Hemitragus jemlahicus, and its main predator, the snow leopard Panthera uncia, in an area of central
Himalaya for five consecutive years (2006–2010). In contrast to expectations, there was no significant
direct relationship between altitude of tahr sightings and temperature. The mean altitude of tahr sightings
decreased by c. 200 m throughout our study. As expected, snow leopard movements tracked those of tahr,
although the core area of the snow leopard did not move downwards. Tahr remained the staple of the
snow leopard diet: we suggest that the former did not move upwards in reaction to higher temperature
to avoid encounters with the latter. Avoidance of competition with the larger common leopard Panthera
pardus at lower altitudes could explain why snow leopards did not shift their core area downwards.
Apparently, interspecific interactions (predation; competition) influenced movements of Himalayan tahr
and snow leopards more than climatic variations.
Fox, J. L., Sinya, S. P., Chundawat, R. S., & Das, P. K. (1986). A Survey of Snow Leopard and Associated Species in the Himalaya of Northwestern India, Project Completion Report.
Gurung, G. T. K. (2004). Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia) and Human Interaction in Phoo Village in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal.
Abstract: Phoo village in the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) in Nepal is located at 4,052 m als physically
in the central north of the country. Livestock keeping is the main activity of the people for making a
living amidst a conflict with snow leopard (Uncia uncia). Each year snow leopard kills a number of
livestock resulting significant economic losses for the poor people living in this remote area. Unless
the people – snow leopard conflict is well understood and appropriate conflict management activities
are implemented, the long run co-existence between people and snow leopard – especially the
existence of snow leopard in this part of the world -will be in question. This has now become an
utmost important as the aspiration of the people for economic development has risen significantly and
the area has been opened to tourism since spring 2002. In addition to this, the globalisation process has
directly and indirectly affected the traditional resource management practices and co-existence
strategies of many traditional societies including Phoo.
The livestock depredation for 3 years (2001 – 2004) by snow leopard was studied by interviewing the
herders to understand the responsible and specific bio-physical and socio-economic factors. The study
revealed that goats are most depredated species followed by sheep. Winter months (January – April)
and winter pastures are most vulnerable to snow leopard predation. Presence of bushes, forest and
boulders make good hides for snow leopard resulting into high depredation. The study also showed
that a lax animal guarding system was significantly responsible for high livestock depredation by snow
The study showed that improvement in livestock guarding system should be adopted as the most
important activity. However despite the importance of livestock in the economy of Phoo it is still not
well understood why the herders neglect for proper livestock guarding. This requires further study.
Proper guarding system is required especially in winter season in winter pastures. It is also suggested
that there should be changes in the composition of livestock species by promoting more yaks and
discouraging or minimising goats. Yaks and large animals are less depredated and small animals like
goats and sheep are highly depredated by snow leopard. A trend was also observed in Phoo village
where there is an increase in the number of yaks and a decrease in the number of goats over last few
years. This could be a management response of the herders to livestock depredation. Other protective
measures of the livestock at the corrals have also been recommended including promotion of guard
dogs and other measures.
Since the area is opened for tourism, it is suggested that the tourism opportunity for the economic
development of the area should be grasped so that the heavy dependence on livestock raising would be
minimised. This will help minimise the number of human – snow leopard conflicts.
Jackson, R. (1999). Snow Leopards, Local People and Livestock Losses: Finding solutions using Appreciative Participatory Planning and Action (APPA) in the Markha Valley of Hemis National Park, Ladakh, October 6-26, 1999. Cat News, 31(Autumn), 22–23.
Abstract: Livestock depredation is emerging as a significant issue across the Himalaya, including the Hemis National Park (HNP) in Ladakh. Some consider that this protected area harbors the best snow leopard population in India, but local herders perceive the endangered snow leopard as a serious threat to their livelihood.
Jackson, R., Ahlborn, G.G. (1986). Appendix: Snow leopard managment recommendations provided to HMG in: Himalayan Snow Leopard Project: Final Progress Report, Phase I. Report: 1-7. Himalayan.
Abstract: Preliminary recommendations for the management of snow leopard and its prey are provided for the Langu Valley segment of the Shey-Pkoksundo National Park. Park-wide and country-wide conservation options and management recommendations await results of the surveys scheduled for 1987. The following management objectives are formulated: 1) Protection and ultimate restoration of all natural communities within the area 2) Special protection measures for snow leopard and musk deer (strict control of hunting and livestock grazing) 3) Secure natural resources around local villages 4) Respect traditional rights of villagers, while controlling high impact human activities 5) Secure cooperation of local people. These objectives are refined and recommendations for concrete conservation actions are made.
Notes: document is a part of the Himalayan Snow Leopard Project: Final Progress Report, Phase I
Kachel, S. M., Karimov, K., Wirsing, A. J. (2022). Predator niche overlap and partitioning and potential interactions in the mountains of Central Asia. Journal of Mammalogy, XX(X), 1–11.
Abstract: Direct and indirect interactions among predators affect predator fitness, distribution, and overall community structure. Yet, outside of experimental settings, such interactions are difficult to observe and thus poorly understood. Patterns of niche overlap among predators reflect and shape community interactions and may therefore help elucidate the nature and intensity of intraguild interactions. To better understand the coexistence of two apex predators, snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus), we investigated their spatial, temporal, and dietary niche overlap in summer in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan. We estimated population- level space use via spatial capture–recapture models based on noninvasive genetics and camera traps, diel activity patterns based on camera trap detections, and diet composition from prey remains in carnivore scats, from which we estimated coefficients between 0 and 1 for overlap in space, time, and diet, respectively. Snow leopards and wolves displayed moderate spatial partitioning (0.26, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.17–37), but overlapping temporal (0.77, 95% CI: 0.64–0.90) and dietary (0.97, 95% CI: 0.80–0.99) niches. Both predators relied on seasonally abundant marmots (Marmota caudata) rather than wild ungulates, their typical primary prey, suggesting that despite patterns of overlap that were superficially conducive to exploitation competition and predator facilitation, prey were likely not a limiting factor. Therefore, prey-mediated interactions, if present, were unlikely to be a major structuring force in the ecosystem. By implication, carnivore conservation planning and monitoring in the mountains of Central Asia should more fully account for the seasonal importance of marmots in the ecosystem.
Kazensky, C. A., Munson, L., & Seal, U. S. (1998). The effects of melengestrol acetate on the ovaries of captive wild felids. Journal-of-Zoo-and-Wildlife-Medicine, 29(1), 1–5.
Abstract: Melengestrol acetate (MGA) is the most widely used contraceptive in zoo felids, but the mechanism of contraception and the pathologic effects have not been investigated. For this study, the effects of MGA on folliculogenesis were assessed, and the association of MGA with ovarian lesions was evaluated. Comparisons were made among the histopathologic findings in the ovaries from 88 captive wild felids (representing 15 species) divided into three groups: 37 currently contracepted with MGA, eight previously exposed to MGA, and 43 never contracepted. Ninety-one percent of the felids evaluated had tertiary follicles, and no differences were noted between contracepted and uncontracepted cats. Some MGA-contracepted cats also had corpora lutea indicating recent ovulation. These results indicate that folliculogenesis is not suppressed by current doses of MGA and ovulation occurred in some cats. Therefore, the contraceptive actions of MGA do not occur by suppressing folliculogenesis, and MGA-contracepted felids likely have endogenous estrogens that may confound progestin effects on the uterus. Cystic rete ovarii was the most common pathologic finding, but they were not more prevalent in MGA-contracepted cats. These findings indicate that MGA is not associated with ovarian disease, including ovarian cancer, in contrast to the uterine lesions noted in MGA-treated cats.
Khan, A. (2004). Snow Leopard Occurrence in Mankial Valley, Swat: Final report.
Abstract: Mankial is a sub-valley of the Swat Kohistan. Temperate ecosystem of the valley is intact to a greater extent, which provides habitat to a variety of species of plants, animals and birds. Snow leopard is reported from the valley. To confirm its occurrence, the HUJRA (Holistic Understanding for Justified Research and Action), conducted the study titled “Snow Leopard Survey in Mankial Valley, district Swat, NWFP”. The author provided technical support, while ISLT (The International Snow Leopard Trust) funded the project under its small grants program. The World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) and the Mankial Community Organization (MCO) facilitated surveys under the project. Surveys revealed that Snow leopard visits parts of the Mankial valley in winter months. Information from the local community shows that Snow leopard remains in the Serai (an off-shoot of the Mankial Valley) from early winter to early spring. Intensive surveys of the prime snow leopard winter habitat in the valley found several snow leopard signs including pugmarks, feces, and scrapes. The study also found occurrence of prey species through indirect evidence though. However, information from the local community confirmed that in the recent past there was a good population of markhor in the valley, which is now reduced to less than 50, mostly due to hunting and habitat disturbance. Hunting is part of the local culture and lifestyle. During winter months hunting pressure is low, as most of the local community migrates to warmer plain areas than Mankial Valley. However, those who live in the area lop oak branches for feeding their livestock and cut trees for burning, in addition to hunting prey species of snow leopard. This has resulted in stunted oak vegetation in most of the lower reaches of the valley and decline of the markhor population.
Khan, B., Ablimit, A., Nawaz, M. A., Ali, R., Khan, M. Z., Jaffaruddin, Karim, R. (2014). Pastoralist experience and tolerance of snow leopard, wolf and lynx predation in Karakoram Pamir Mountains. Journal of Biodiversity and Envirnomental Sciences, 5(4), 214–229.
Abstract: Human-carnivore conflict is a common conservation and livelihood issue in mountain communities. This study was conducted to understand nature and extent of socio-ecological interaction between pastoralism and wildlife conservation in cold deserts of Karakoram Pamir Mountains (KPM) between China and Pakistan. Study revealed that livestock depredation is a burning issue in KPM with varying intensity from place to place, depending upon wild prey abundance, herd size, herding practices, predator type and age. Snow leopard, wolf and lynx were the major predators, while Brown bear despite its presence was reported being less fatal to livestock. Snow leopard killed highest number of animals (88.7% n=1440) mostly sheep and goats whereas, wolf killed more juvenile yaks. Lynx was found occasionally predating on young domestic crop. Highest number of kills was recorded from pastures during summer months (July-Aug) when animals were free grazing or were kept inside pens at night. Wild prey base being abysmally low, livestock seemed offering a considerable portion of diet to carnivores. Despite considerable losses from carnivores, more respondents in KNP (Pakistan) buffer zone had sympathies for predators compared to those in TNR (China) who were annoyed of the carnivores. Although people attributed escalating human-carnivore conflict to a higher level of protection to wild animals in Protected Areas (PA) but efforts are still needed to judiciously integrate conservation with local livelihood and development needs, otherwise herders may continue losing their livestock to predators and retaliatory killing of endangered carnivore species i.e., Snow leopard and Wolf may continue unabated and would further destabilize the fragile mountain ecosystem.
Kreuzberg-Mukhina, E., Esipov A.V., Bykova, E. A., Vashetko, E. V., & Aromov, B. (2003). Development of the national Action Plan for the conservation of Snow Leopard in Uzbekistan. Report: 1-51 (Vol. 1-51). Uzbekistan.
Abstract: This document is the final report on the ISLT Project “Development of national Action plan for the conservation of Snow Leopard in Uzbekistan” and a Conservation Strategy for the Snow leopard in Uzbekistan. It includes biology and current status, limiting factors, existing and necessary conservation measures.
McCarthy, T. M., & Chapron, G. (2003). Snow Leopard Survival Strategy. Seattle, USA: International Snow Leopard Trust and Snow Leopard Network.
Abstract: I. SNOW LEOPARD: REVIEW OF CURRENT KNOWLEDGE AND STATUS
This Snow Leopard Survival Strategy (SLSS) was undertaken to provide comprehensive conservation and research guidelines to ensure a range-wide coordinated effort in the fi ght to save the endangered snow leopard and had the following specific goals: Assess and prioritize threats to snow leopard survival on a geographic basis.
Defi ne and prioritize conservation, education, and policy measures appropriate to alleviate threats.
Prioritize subjects for snow leopard research and identify viable or preferred research methods.
Build a network of concerned scientists and conservationists to facilitate open dialogue and cross-border cooperation.
Gain consensus on a fundamental Snow Leopard Survival Strategy document that will be made available to the range states to aid conservation planning at national and local levels.
The highly participatory process started with a survey of specialists designed to gather information on perceived threats to snow leopards, appropriate actions to address threats, knowledge gaps, protected area status, policy and law issues, impediments to achieving conservation of snow leopards, and cultural relevance of snow leopards. Drafts of a Strategy were circulated and then the Snow Leopard Survival Summit was convened in Seattle, USA from 21-26 May 2002 and was attended by 58 of the specialists to debate issues and refi ne the Strategy. This SLSS document is the end product of that process. Background on the snow leopard The snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is a member of the Felidae subfamily Pantherinae and on the basis of morphology and behavior it is placed alone in a separate genus. They are found in 12 countries across Central Asia (China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia). China contains as much as 60% of the snow leopard's potential habitat. Inaccessible and difficult terrain, along with the secretive nature of this rare cat helps account for the fact that large parts of its range have yet to be surveyed. Between 4,500 and 7,350 snow leopards are thought to occur within a total potential habitat area of 1,835,000 km2. Snow leopards are generally solitary and mating usually occurs between late January and midMarch, and one to five cubs are born after a gestation period of 93 to 110 days, generally in June or July. Snow leopards are closely associated with the alpine and subalpine ecological zones, preferring broken, rocky terrain with vegetation that is dominated by shrubs or grasses. Home range size and shape is not well known. The home range size of five snow leopards in prime habitat in Nepal ranged from 12 to 39 km2, with substantial overlap between individuals and sexes. In Mongolia, where food resources may be scarcer, home ranges of both males and females exceeded 400 km2. Snow leopards are opportunistic predators capable of killing prey up to three times their own weight. They will also take small prey such as marmot or chukar partridge. In general, their most commonly taken prey consists of wild sheep and goats
(including blue sheep, Asian ibex, markhor, and argali). Adult snow leopards kill a large prey animal every 10-15 days, and remained on the kill for an average of 3-4 days, and sometimes up to a week. Predation on livestock can be significant, which often results in retribution killing by herders. Snow Leopards are listed as Endangered on the
IUCN Red List in that they do not meet the standards of Critically Endangered but are projected to decline by 50% or more over next 3 generations due to potential levels of exploitation (trade in pelts/bones and conflict with
livestock), and due to declining: 1) area of occupancy, 2) extent of occurrence, and 3) quality of habitat (prey depletion). They appear in Appendix I of both CITES and the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of
Wild Animals (CMS). Snow Leopards are protected nationally over most of its range, with the probable exception of Afghanistan. However, in some countries the relevant legislation may not always be very effective, e.g. because penalties are too low to function as deterrent, or they contain some significant loopholes.
II. THREATS AND CONSERVATION ACTIONS
This document attempts to list and discuss the threats, conservation actions and information needs pertinent to snow leopard survival. However, these vary substantially across the vast extent of snow leopard range, so no prescription will be universally applicable. We used a regional approach and for purposes of grouping areas where conditions may be similar, we looked at geography, political boundaries, cultural/religious influences, and rural livelihoods. Within that framework we defined four broad regions:
Karakorum/Hindu Kush (KK/HK),
Commonwealth of Independent States and W. China (CISWC),
The Northern Range of Russia, Mongolia and N. China (NRANG) SNOW LEOPARD SURVIVAL STRATEGY
Threats to Snow Leopard Survival
A key component of the SLSS process was to identify threats to long-term snow leopard survival across their range. The following list is the result of extensive consultations with stakeholders in Asia and the expert group at the SLSS Summit. Threats are grouped into four broad categories 1) Habitat and Prey related, 2) Direct Killing of Snow Leopards, 3) Policy and Awareness, and 4) Other Issues.
List of Threats
Category 1: Habitat and Prey Related
1.1 Habitat Degradation and Fragmentation
1.2 Reduction of Natural Prey due to Illegal Hunting
1.3 Reduction of Natural Prey due to Legal Hunting
1.4 Reduction of Natural Prey due to Competition with Livestock
1.5 Reduction of Natural Prey due to Disease
1.6 Fencing that Disrupts Natural Migration
Category 2: Direct Killing or Removal of Snow Leopards
2.1 Killing of Snow Leopards in Retribution for Livestock depredation
2.2 Poaching Snow Leopards for Trade in Hides or Bones
2.3 Museum Collection of Live Animals
2.4 Traditional Hunting of Snow Leopards
2.5 Secondary Poisoning and Trapping of Snow Leopards
2.6 Diseases of Snow Leopards
Category 3: Policy and Awareness
3.1 Lack of Appropriate Policy
3.2 Lack of Effective Enforcement
3.3 Lack of Trans-boundary Cooperation
3.4 Lack of Institutional Capacity
3.5 Lack of Awareness among Local People
3.6 Lack of Awareness among Policy Makers
Category 4: Other Issues
4.1 War and Related Military Activities
4.2 Climate Change
4.3 Human Population Growth and Poverty (indirect threat)
Potential Actions to Address Threats
Several methods are identified and elaborated in this document and they include:
Grazing Management: Promote livestock grazing practices that reduce impacts on native wildlife, in particular snow leopard prey species.
Wildlife-based Ecotourism: Establishing wildlife based tourism that provides jobs and financial benefits to local people will add economic value to wildlife and create incentives to protect the resource.
Cottage Industry: Provide income generation opportunities for communities in snow leopard habitat through handicraft manufacture and marketing opportunities with direct and transparent linkages to wildlife conservation via contracts that provides positive incentives for compliance.
Ungulate Trophy Hunting Programs: Establish or restructure trophy hunting programs that are sustainable, well monitored and provide return to local people as an incentive to protect ungulates. Community co-management of hunting program should be encouraged where ever appropriate.
Reducing Poaching and Trade in Snow Leopard Parts:
Determine location, nature and extent of snow leopard poaching for trade and bring pressure, both legal and educational, to limit same.
Reducing Livestock Depredation by Snow Leopards:
Encourage livestock husbandry practices that reduce depredation by snow leopards and other predators.
Animal Husbandry: Provide training in animal husbandry and veterinary care to improve monetary return at lower stock levels, limit exposure to predation, and reduce impacts on pasture and rangelands.
Conservation Education and Awareness: Raise awareness of snow leopard conservation issues, concerns, need for action, legal matters, etc, through variety of media among different audiences.
III. RESEARCH AND INFORMATION NEEDS
During the process of listing the threats to snow leopards and the required conservation actions, a set of information needs was also identified. Hence, the list below encompasses the knowledge required to carry-out urgent conservation actions.
Master List of Information Needs
R.1 Snow leopard distribution and “hot spots”
R.2 Snow leopard migration and dispersal routes
R.3 Snow leopard population size
R.4 Snow leopard population trends and factor responsible for changes
R.5 Protected Area coverage extent and representation of habitats (gap analysis)
R.6 Agents of habitat degradation and relative impacts
R.7 Snow leopard prey relationships
R.8 Prey species distribution and “hot spots”
R.9 Prey population baseline and trends
R.10 Dynamics of illegal ungulate hunting (sources, local need, uses, trade, etc.)
R.11 Dynamics of legal ungulate harvest and baseline statistics (sex/age, effort, trophy size, etc.)
R.12 Wild ungulate livestock interactions (competition)
R.13 Ungulate disease type, areas of occurrence, prevalence, virulence, treatment
R.14 Snow leopard poaching levels
R.15 Illegal trade in wildlife parts market demand, sources and routes, value, etc.
R.16 Livestock depredation rates
SNOW LEOPARD SURVIVAL STRATEGY | xi
R.17 Livestock depredation causes
R.18 Grazing pressure and range conditions
R.19 Snow leopard disease type, areas of occurrence, prevalence, virulence, treatment
R.20 Snow leopard home-range size and habitat use
R.21 Snow leopard social structure and behavior
R.22 Snow leopard population genetics
R.23 Snow leopard food habits
R.24 Snow leopard relationship to other predators
R.25 Economic valuation of snow leopards
R.26 Snow leopard monitoring techniques development/improvement
R.27 Socio-economic profiling of herder communities in snow leopard habitat
R.28 Methods to alleviate impacts of war
R.29 Livestock and human population status and trends
R.30 Analysis of existing policies and laws
R.31 Human attitudes to snow leopards
IV. COUNTRY ACTION PLANNING
The SLSS should be seen as a tool to aid in the development of country-specifi c Action Plans. In general Action
Planning leaders should review the SLSS and then:
Analyze the problems and choose the proper scale,
Identify the key stakeholders and integrate them into the planning process at the beginning, (i.e. ensure a broadly participatory process),
Choose a multi-level approach if the problems and stakeholders are particularly diverse,
Seek to identify achievable and appropriate actions,
Build monitoring of results into the Plan.
The Action Planning process need not be done in a vacuum. The Snow Leopard Network (see below), can provide much needed assistance in terms of expertise and advice during the planning process. Collectively, the SLN membership has experience in nearly every area of snow leopard related conservation, research, education, and policy. They can be approached for assistance through the International Snow Leopard Trust, 4649 Sunnyside
Ave. N., Suite 325, Seattle, Washington, 98103, USA, on their website http://www.snowleopard.org/sln/ or via email at <email@example.com>.
V. TAKING THE SLSS FORWARD
A key outcome of the SLSS Workshop was the creation of the Snow Leopard Network (SLN). The SLN is a partnership of organizations and individuals from government and private sector who work together for the effective conservation of the snow leopard, its prey, and their natural habitat to the benefi t of people and biodiversity.
The initial members of the SLN are the specialist who worked together on the SLSS. Carrying the SLSS forward was the impetus for developing the Network.
Ming, M., Yun, G., & Bo, W. (2008). Chinese snow leopard team goes into action. Man & the Biosphere, 54(6), 18–25.
Abstract: China, the world's most populous country, also contains the largest number of Snow Leopards of any country in the world. But the survey and research of the snow leopard had been very little for the second half of the 20th century. Until recent years, the members of Xinjiang Snow Leopards Group (XSLG/SLT/XFC) , the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences have been tracking down the solitary animal. The journal reporter does a face-to-face interview with professor Ma Ming who is a main responsible expert of the survey team. By the account of such conversation, we learn the achievements, advances and difficulty of research of snow leopards in the field, Tianshan and Kunlun, Xinjiang, the far west China, and we also know that why the team adopt the infrared camera to capture the animals. Last but not least professor talked about the survival menace faced by the Snow Leopards in Xinjiang.
Ming, M., Yun, G., & Bo, W. (2008). Man & the Biosphere: The special series for the conservation of Snow Leopards in China (Vol. 54).
Abstract: The Chinese magazine <Man & the Biosphere> (Series No. 54, No. 6, 2008) -- A special series for the conservation of Snow Leopards was published by the Chinese National Committee for Man & the Biosphere in 15th December 2008. It is about 80 pages including ten articles with 200 color pictures. The special editors of this issue are the experts from SLT/XCF Prof. MaMing, Mrs. Ge Yun and Mr. Wen Bo. The first paper is “A King of Snow Peaks, Another Endangered Flagship Species” by Dr. Thomas McCarthy, Dr. Urs Breitenmmoser and Dr. Christine Breitenmoser-Wursten (Page 1-1). Another paper “ Conservation : Turning Awareness to Action ” is also from Dr. Thomas McCarthy (Pages from 6-17). There are four articles including the diary and story of the Surveys in Tomur Mountain and Kunlun Mountains written by Prof. MaMing, Mr. XuFeng, Miss Chen Ying and Miss Cheng Yun from the Xinjiang Snow Leopard Group and XCF, the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The last is “Snow Leopard Enterprises ” -- A Story from Mongolia by Mrs. Jennifer Snell Rullman and Mrs. Agvaantseren Bayarjargal (Bayara). It is a very useful copy for the conservation in China. Cited as:
Ma Ming, GeYun and WenBo (Special editors of this issue). 2008. The special series for the conservation of Snow Leopards in China. Man & the Biosphere 2008(6): 1-80. Contents 1, A king of snow peaks, another endangered flagship species (Synopsis) ------------- 1-1 The contents --------------------------------------------- ( pages from 2-3 )
2, Protecting Snow Leopard means protecting a healthy eco-systems -------------- 4-5
3, Conservation: Turning awareness into action -------------- 6-17
4, Chinese Snow Leopard Team goes into action -------------- 18-25
5, A diary of infrared photography -------------- 26-35
6, Why have the snow leopards in the Tianshan Mountains begun to attack livestock? --- 36-43
7, The mystery of the Snow Leopards coming down the Tianshan Mountains ----------- 44-45
8, Snow leopards secluded Home on the Plateau ------------- 46-59
9, He saw Snow Leopards 30 years ago ------------- 60-69
10, Snow Leopard Enterprises -- A story from Mongolia ------------- 70-80
Namgail, T. (2004). Interactions between argali and livestock, Gya-Miru Wildlife Sanctuary, Ladakh, India, Final Project Report.
Abstract: Livestock production is the major land-use in Ladakh region of the Indian Trans-Himalaya, and is a crucial sector that drives the region's economy (Anon, 2002). Animal products like meat and milk provide protein to the diet of people, while products like wool and pashmina (soft fibre of goats) find their way to the international market. Such high utility of livestock and the recent socio-economic changes in the region have caused an increase in livestock population (Rawat and Adhikari, 2002; Anon. 2002), which, if continue apace, may increase grazing pressure and deteriorate pasture conditions. Thus, there is an urgent need to assess the impact of such escalation in livestock population on the regions wildlife. Although, competitive interaction between wildlife and livestock has been studied elsewhere in the Trans-Himalaya (Bhatnagar et al., 2000; Mishra, 2001; Bagchi et al., 2002), knowledge on this aspect in the Ladakh region is very rudimentary. The rangelands of Ladakh are characterised by low primary productivity (Chundawat & Rawat, 1994), and the wild herbivores are likely to compete with the burgeoning livestock on these impoverished rangelands (Mishra et al., 2002). Thus, given that the area supports a diverse wild ungulate assemblage of eight species (Fox et al., 1991b), and an increasing livestock population (Rawat and Adhikari, 2002), the nature of interaction between wildlife and livestock needs to be assessed. During this project, we primarily evaluated the influence of domestic sheep and goat grazing on the habitat use of Tibetan argali Ovis ammon hodgsoni in a prospective wildlife reserve in Ladakh.
Pal, R., Panwar, A., Goyal, S. P., Sathyakumar, S. (2022). Changes in ecological conditions may influence intraguild competition: inferring interaction patterns of snow leopard with co-predators. PeerJ, 10(e14277), 1–26.
Abstract: Background: Large-scale changes in habitat conditions due to human modifications and climate change require management practices to consider how species communities can alter amidst these changes. Understanding species interactions across the gradient of space, anthropogenic pressure, and season provide the opportunity to anticipate possible dynamics in the changing scenarios. We studied the interspecific interactions of carnivore species in a high-altitude ecosystem over seasonal (summer and winter) and resource gradients (livestock grazing) to assess the impact of changing abiotic and biotic settings on coexistence.
Methods: The study was conducted in the Upper Bhagirathi basin, Western Himalaya, India. We analyzed around 4 years of camera trap monitoring data to understand seasonal spatial and temporal interactions of the snow leopard with common leopard and woolly wolf were assessed in the greater and trans-Himalayan habitats, respectively. We used two species occupancy models to assess spatial interactions, and circadian activity patterns were used to assess seasonal temporal overlap amongst carnivores. In addition, we examined scats to understand the commonalities in prey selection.
Results: The result showed that although snow leopard and wolves depend on the same limited prey species and show high temporal overlap, habitat heterogeneity and differential habitat use facilitate co-occurrence between these two predators. Snow leopard and common leopard were spatially independent in the summer. Conversely, the common leopard negatively influences the space use of snow leopard in the winter. Limited prey resources (lack of livestock), restricted space (due to snow cover), and similar activity patterns in winter might result in strong competition, causing these species to avoid each other on a spatial scale. The study showed that in addition to species traits and size, ecological settings also play a significant role in deciding the intensity of competition between large carnivores. Climate change and habitat shifts are predicted to increase the spatial overlap between snow leopard and co-predators in the future. In such scenarios, wolves and snow leopards may coexist in a topographically diverse environment, provided sufficient prey are available. However, shifts in tree line might lead to severe competition between common leopards and snow leopards, which could be detrimental to the latter. Further monitoring of resource use across abiotic and biotic environments may improve our understanding of how changing ecological conditions can affect resource partitioning between snow leopards and predators.
Panwar, H. S., Fox, J. L., Sinha, S. P., & Chundawat, R. S. (1986). Ecology of the Snow Loepard and Associated Prey in Central Ladakh.
Raghavan, B., Bhatnagar, Y., & Qureshi, Q. (2003). Interactions between livestock and Ladakh urial (Ovis vignei vignei); final report.
Abstract: The Ladakh urial (Ovis vignei vignei) is a highly endangered animal (IUCN Red List 2000) listed in the Appendix 1 of CITES and Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Its numbers had been reduced to a few hundred individuals in the 1960s and 70s through hunting for trophies and meat (Fox et al. 1991, Mallon 1983, Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, IUCN Red List 2000). However, with the protection bestowed by the IWPA 1972, and resultant decrease in hunting, the population seems to have shown a marginal increase to about 1000-1500 individuals in its range in Ladakh (Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, IUCN Red List 2000). Although the species had in the past, been able to coexist with the predominantly Buddhist society of Ladakh, the recent increase in the population of both humans and their livestock has placed immense pressures on its habitat (Shackleton 1997, Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, Raghavan and Bhatnagar 2003). This is especially important considering that the Ladakh urial habitat coincides with the areas of maximum human activity in terms of settlements, agriculture, pastoralism and development, in Ladakh (Fox et al. 1991, Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, Raghavan and Bhatnagar 2003). Increased developmental activities such as construction of roads, dams, and military bases in these areas have also increased the access to their habitat. This has consequently made the species more vulnerable to the threats of poaching and habitat destruction (Fox et al. 1991, Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, Raghavan and Bhatnagar 2002). Pressure from increased livestock grazing is one of the major threats faced by the species today (Shackleton 1997, Fox et al. 1991, Mallon 1983, IUCN Red List 2000 Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, Raghavan and Bhatnagar 2003). In the impoverished habitat provided by the Trans-Himalayas, there is great competition for the scarce resources between various animal species surviving here (Fox 1996, Mishra 2001). The presence of livestock intensifies this competition and can either force the species out of its niche (competitive exclusion) by displacing it from that area or resource, or lead to partitioning of resources between the species, spatially or temporally, for coexistence (Begon et al. 1986, Gause 1934).
Roth, T. L., Howard, J. G., Donoghue, A. M., Swanson, W. F., & Wildt, D. E. (1994). Function and culture requirements of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) spermatozoa in vitro. J Reprod Fertil, 101(3), 563–569.
Abstract: Electroejaculates from eight snow leopards were used to determine how the motility of spermatozoa was influenced by (i) type of media (Ham's F10, PBS, human tubal fluid or RPMI-1640); (ii) holding temperature (23 degrees C versus 37 degrees C); (iii) washing of spermatozoa and (iv) a sperm metabolic enhancer, pentoxifylline. The duration of sperm motility was assessed by evaluating samples in each treatment every hour for 6 h and a sperm motility index (a value combining percentage sperm motility and rate of forward progression) calculated. Spermatozoa from the Ham's F10, PBS and PBS plus pentoxifylline treatments were also co-incubated with zona-intact, domestic cat eggs that were fixed and evaluated for spermatozoa bound to the zona pellucida, penetrating the outer and inner layers of the zona pellucida and within the perivitelline space. During the 6 h co-incubation, the sperm motility index in PBS with pentoxifylline was greater (P < 0.05) than in PBS alone which, in turn, was greater (P < 0.05) than in the other three test media. Washing the spermatozoa enhanced (P < 0.05) motility in both PBS and PBS plus pentoxifylline relative to unwashed samples, but there was no effect (P > 0.05) of holding temperature. Pentoxifylline supplementation enhanced (P < 0.05) the proportion of cat eggs with bound, but not penetrated, snow leopard spermatozoa in the inner layer of the zona pellucida, and there were no spermatozoa in the perivitelline space.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Rovero, F., Augugliaro, C., Havmoller, R. W., Groff, C., Zimmerman, F., Oberosler, V., Tenan, S. (2018). Co-occurrence of snow leopard Panthera uncia, Siberian ibex Capra sibirica and livestock: potential relationships and effects. Oryx, , 1–7.
Abstract: Understanding the impact of livestock on native
wildlife is of increasing conservation relevance. For the
Vulnerable snow leopard Panthera uncia, wild prey reduction,
intensifying human�wildlife conflicts and retaliatory
killings are severe threats potentially exacerbated by the
presence of livestock. Elucidating patterns of co-occurrence
of snow leopards, wild ungulate prey, and livestock, can be
used to assess the compatibility of pastoralism with conservation.
We used camera trapping to study the interactions of
livestock, Siberian ibex Capra sibirica and snow leopards in
a national park in the Altai mountains, Mongolia. We obtained
 detections of wild mammals and  of domestic
ungulates, dogs and humans. Snow leopards and Siberian
ibex were recorded  and  times, respectively. Co-occurrence
modelling showed that livestock had a higher estimated
occupancy (.) than ibex, whose occupancy was
lower in the presence of livestock (.) than in its absence
(.�. depending on scenarios modelled). Snow leopard
occupancy did not appear to be affected by the presence of
livestock or ibex but the robustness of such inference was
limited by uncertainty around the estimates. Although our
sampling at presumed snow leopard passing sites may have
led to fewer ibex detections, results indicate that livestock
may displace wild ungulates, but may not directly affect
the occurrence of snow leopards. Snow leopards could still
be threatened by livestock, as overstocking can trigger
human�carnivore conflicts and hamper the conservation
of large carnivores. Further research is needed to assess
the generality and strength of our results.