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Namgail, T. (2003). Gya-Miru: last refuge of the Tibetan argali. Sanctuary Asia, 23, 16–21.
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.
Namgail, T. (2007). Vigilance behaviour of the Tibetan argali Ovis ammon hodgsoni in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. Acta Zoologica Sinica, 53, 195–200.
Abstract: An inverse relationship between individual vigilance level and group size is widely reported in many behavioral studies on animals across several taxa. It is generally held that such a relationship is due to a reduced probability of an individual being killed in larger groups. in the present investigation, I studied the vigilance behavior of the endangered Tibetan argali Ovis ammon hodgsoni in relation to group size and escape terrain. I hypothesized that an individual argali has a higher vigilance level in smaller groups and in habitats closer to cliffs than individuals living in larger groups and open areas (escape terrain). The results show that the vigilance of argali decreased with increasing group size, but there was no effect of escape terrain on its vigilance behavior. There were significant differences between age-sex groups: male, female and yearling in their time budgets. Females, compared to males and yearlings, spent more time being vigilant. They also foraged more and moved less than males. It is suggested that vigilance is an important anti-predator behavior amongst argali sheep.
Namgail, T., Fox, J., & Bhatnagar, Y. V. (2004). Habitat segregation between sympatric Tibetan argali Ovis ammon hodgsoni and blue sheep Pseudois nayaur in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. Journal of Zoology, 262, 57–63.
Abstract: Tibetan argali Ovis ammon hodgsoni and blue sheep Pseudois nayaur have almost completely overlapping distributions encompassing most of the Tibetan plateau and its margins. Such a sympatric distribution of related species with similar ecological requirements implies that there is some degree of resource partitioning. This may be accomplished on the basis of habitat and/or diet separation. This study evaluated such ecological separation on the basis of physical habitat partitioning by these two sympatric ungulates in Hemis High Altitude National Park, Ladakh, India, in an area where the argali established a small new population in 1978. Such separation was tested for
on the basis of expected difference between the species in their proximity to cliffs, associated with species-specific anti-predator behaviour. Tibetan argali selected habitats away from cliffs while blue sheep selected habitats close to cliffs. Blue sheep also selected steep slopes whereas argali selected gentle slopes. The two species did not differ
in their use of habitats in terms of elevation. They did, however, differ in their use of plant communities; blue sheep selected sub-shrub and grass-dominated communities whilst argali selected forb-dominated communities. We suggest that the two species coexist in this site as a result of the differential use of habitat associated with their
species-specific anti-predator strategies.
Schaller, G. B. (1987). Status of large mammals in the Taxkorgan Reserve, Xinjiang, China. Biological-Conservation, 42(1), 53–71.
Abstract: A status survey of large mammals was conducted in the W half of 14 000 km“SUP 2” Taxkorgan Reserve. Only one viable population of fewer than 150 Marco Polo sheep Ovis ammon poli survives; it appears to be augmented by adult males from Russia and Afghanistan during the winter rut. Asiatic ibex Capra ibex occur primarily in the western part of the reserve and blue sheep Pseudois nayaur – the most abundant wild ungulate – in the E and SE parts. The 2 species overlap in the area of contact. Counts revealed an average wild ungulate density of 0.34 animals km“SUP -2”. Snow leopard Panthera uncia were rare, with possibly 50-75 in the reserve, as were wolves Canis lupus and brown bear Ursus arctos. The principal spring food of snow leopard was blue sheep (60%) and marmot (29%). Local people have greatly decimated wildlife. Overgrazing by livestock and overuse of shrubs for fuelwood is turning this arid steppe habitat into desert. -from Authors
Shrestha, R., Wegge, P., & Koirala, R. A. (2005). Summer diets of wild and domestic ungulates in Nepal Himalaya. Journal of Zoology, 266, 111–119.
Abstract: The selection of summer forage by three sympatric ungulates in the Damodar Kunda region of upper Mustang in
north Nepal was studied to assess the extent of food overlap between them. To compare their diets, a microhistological technique of faecal analysis was used, adjusted for inherent biases by comparing it with bite-count data obtained in domestic goats. Tibetan argali Ovis ammon hodgsoni, naur (blue sheep or bharal) Pseudois nayaur and domestic goat Capra hircus consumed mostly forbs, graminoids and browse, respectively. The proportions of food items in their diets were significantly different both at the plant species (P<0.02) and at the forage category level (P<0.001). Except for sharing three common plants (Agrostis sp., Stipa sp. and Potentilla fruticosa), dietary overlap at the species level was quite low. At the forage category level, naur and domestic goat overlapped more than the other ungulate pairs. Although all three species were opportunistic, mixed feeders, argali was a more selective forb specialist grazer than the other two ungulates. Owing to some spatial separation and little dietary overlap, interspecific competition for summer forage was low. If animal densities increase, however, goats are expected to compete more with naur than with argali because of their more similar diets. Owing to differences in forage selection by argali and naur throughout their large geographical ranges, reflecting adaptations to local ecological conditions, inferences regarding forage competition between domestic livestock and these two wild caprins need to be made from local, site-specific studies, rather than from general diet comparisons.
Taubmann, J., Sharma, K., Uulu, K Z., Hines, J. E., Mishra, C. (2015). Status assessment of the Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia and other large mammals in the Kyrgyz Alay, using community knowledge corrected for imperfect detection. Fauna & Flora International, , 1–11.
Abstract: The Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia occurs
in the Central Asian Mountains, which cover c.  million
km. Little is known about its status in the Kyrgyz Alay
Mountains, a relatively narrow stretch of habitat connecting
the southern and northern global ranges of the species. In
 we gathered information on current and past (,
the last year of the Soviet Union) distributions of snow leopards
and five sympatric large mammals across , km
of the Kyrgyz Alay.We interviewed  key informants from
local communities. Across  -km grid cells we obtained
, and  records of species occurrence (site
use) in  and , respectively. The data were analysed
using themulti-season site occupancy framework to incorporate
uncertainty in detection across interviewees and time
periods. High probability of use by snow leopards in the past
was recorded in .% of the Kyrgyz Alay. Between the two
sampling periods % of sites showed a high probability of
local extinction of snow leopard. We also recorded high
probability of local extinction of brown bear Ursus arctos
(% of sites) and Marco Polo sheep Ovis ammon polii
(% of sites), mainly in regions used intensively by people.
Data indicated a high probability of local colonization by
lynx Lynx lynx in % of the sites. Although wildlife has
declined in areas of central and eastern Alay, regions in
the north-west, and the northern and southern fringes
appear to retain high conservation value.