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Ale, S. Conservation of the snow leopard in Nepal.
Baral N., Stern, M., & Heinen, J. T. (2007). Integrated conservation and development project life cycles in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal: Is development overpowering conservation? Biodiversity Conservation, 16(10), 2903–2917.
Abstract: The merits of integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs), which aim to provide development incentives to citizens in return for conservation behaviors, have long been debated in the literature. Some of the most common critiques suggest that conservation activities tend to be strongly overpowered by development activities. We studied this assertion through participant observation and archival analysis of five Conservation Area Management Committees (CAMCs) in the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA), Nepal. Committee activities were categorized as conservation activities (policy development and conservation implementation), development activities (infrastructure, health care, education, economic development, and sanitation), or activities related to institutional strengthening (administrative development and capacity building activities). Greater longevity of each ICDP was associated with greater conservation activity in relation to development activities. Project life cycles progressed from a focus on development activities in their early stages, through a transitional period of institutional strengthening, and toward a longer-term focus that roughly balanced conservation and development activities. Results suggest that the ICDP concept, as practiced in ACA, has been successful at building capacity for and interest in conservation amongst local communities. However, success has come over a period of nearly a decade, suggesting that prior conclusions about ICDP failures may have been based on unrealistic expectations of the time needed to influence behavioral changes in target populations.
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., Ahlborn G., Ale S., Gurung D., Gurung M., & Yadav. (1994). Reducing Livestock Depredation in the Nepalese Himalaya: Case of the Annapurna Conservation Area.
Abstract: In the Nepalese Himalaya, conflict with rural communities due to livestock predation to large carnivores like snow leopard, common leopard, wolf and wild dog has risen sharply in recent years. This increase is attributed to a number of factors, including implementation and enforcement of wildlife protection laws (which have permitted a recovery in carnivore numbers), the creation of protected areas (which serve as refuges from which predators can populate the surrounding area), the depletion of natural prey due to poaching and loss of habitat, and lax livestock herding practices. However, little information is presently available upon which to design remedial programs. U.S. AID provided research funding for an in-depth assessment of snow leopard predation in the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP), an new innovative approach to nature conservation. Baseline information on livestock numbers and mortality were gathered during household interviews, followed by field surveys to assess animal husbandry systems, map pastures, establish periods of use and estimate stocking rates, and to characterize habitat using randomly located plots. Data substantiate the existence of depredation “hotspots”, where high loss occurs, in some cases exceeding 14% to 20% of the livestock population over a short period. Losses varied seasonally, and from year to year. Small-bodied stock like goat and sheep were more vulnerable than large-bodied stock like yak, although horses were especially vulnerable. Factors most closely associated with predation included lack of guarding (or very lax supervision), especially during the daytime, and repeated use of pastures where livestock depredators were known to be actively hunting. Herders usually reacted to repeated depredation incidents by attempting to trap or shoot the suspected culprit until losses declined to an acceptable level. As large carnivore populations become increasingly fragmented and genetically isolated, new management strategies are urgently needed, especially within the buffer zones and intervening corridors between separated parks and reserves. People reside within nearly all Himalayan protected areas, and such issues as loss of livestock and competition between wildlife and livestock cannot be avoided. A plan is offered for alleviating livestock loss in the Annapurna Conservation Area that involves local institutions in decision-making, rewards sound husbandry practices, strengthens indigenous institutions, without further eroding ACAP’s unique biological diversity and diverse carnivore population. The authors believe these measures and ideas could be fruitfully extended to other parts of the Himalaya.
Oli, M. K. (1994). Snow leopards and local human population in a protected area: a case study from the Nepalese Himalaya. In J.L.Fox, & D.Jizeng (Eds.), (pp. 51–64). Usa: International Snow Leopard Trust, Seattle, Washington.
Oli, M. K., & Rogers, E. M. (1996). Seasonal pattern in group size and population composition of blue sheep in Manang, Nepal. Journal of Wildlife Management, 60(4), 797–801.
Abstract: Blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) are the principal prey of the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in the Himalayas and adjacent ranges. We studied group size and population composition of blue sheep in Manang District, Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Overall mean group size was 15.6 (SE = 1.3), but it varied seasonally (P lt 0.001), with significantly smaller groups in winter than in other seasons. Mixed groups were most numerous in all seasons, and there was no evidence of sexual segregation. Yearling sex ratio (93.7 M:100 F) did not vary seasonally, nor did the ratio deviate from parity. Adult sex ratio showed a seasonal pattern favoring males post-parturition but female-biased during the rut and pre-parturition. Seasonal variation in sex-specific mortality is offered as a plausible explanation for the observed pattern in adult sex ratio.
Oli, M. K., Taylor, I. R., & Rogers, M. E. (1994). Snow leopard Panthera unica predation of livestock: An assessment of local perceptions in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Biological Conservation, 68(1), 63–68.
Abstract: Public attitudes towards snow leopard Panthera uncia predation of domestic livestock were investigated by a questionnaire survey of four villages in snow leopard habitat within the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Most local inhabitants were subsistence farmers, many dependent upon yaks, oxen, horses and goats, with an average livestock holding of 26.6 animals per household. Reported losses to snow leopards averaged 0.6 and 0.7 animals per household in two years of study, constituting 2.6% of total stockholding but representing in monetary terms almost a quarter of the average annual Nepali national per capita income. Local people held strongly negative attitudes towards snow leopards and most suggested that total extermination of leopards was the only acceptable solution to the predation problem. Snow leopards were reported to be killed by herdsmen in defence of their livestock. The long-term success of snow leopard conservation programmes may depend upon the satisfactory resolution of the predation conflict. Some possible ways of reducing predation losses are also discussed.
Oli, M. K., Taylor, K. R., & Rogers, M. E. (1994). Snow leopard Panthera uncia predation of livestock: An assessment of local perceptions in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal (Vol. 68).
Abstract: Public attitudes towards snow leopard Panthera uncia predation of domestic livestock were investigated by a questionnaire survey of four villages in snow leopard habitat within the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal Most local inhabitants were subsistence farmers, many dependent upon yaks, oxen, horses and goats, with an average livestock holding of 26.6 animals per household. Reported losses to snow leopards averaged 0.6 and O. 7 animals per household in two years of study, constituting 2.6% of total stockholding but representing in monetary terms almost a quarter of the average annual Nepali national per capita income. Local people hem strongly negative attitudes towards snow leopards and most suggested that total extermination of leopards was the only acceptable solution to the predation problem. Snow leopards were reported to be killed by herdsmen in defence of their livestock. The long-term success of snow leopard conservation programmes may depend upon the satisfactory resolution of the predation conflict. Some possible ways of reducing predation losses are also discussed.
Thapa, K. (2005). Is their any correlation between abundance of blue sheep population and livestock depredation by snow leopards in the Phu Valley, Manang District, Annapurna Conservation Area? Final report.
Abstract: This study was undertaken in the Phu valley of Manang district in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal,
Spring, 2004 and 2005. I used the Snow Leopard Management Information System (“second order” survey technique), to determine
the relative abundance of snow leopards in delineated areas in Phu valley. Transects routes were plotted by
randomly selected feasible landforms such as along ridgelines, cliff bases and river bluffs where snow
leopards sign is likely to be found. Altogether, 16 transects (total length of 7.912 km) were laid down (mean
transect length=0.495 km). They revealed, 54 sign sites (both relic and non-relic) and altogether 88 signs (72
scrapes, 11 feces, 3 scent mark, 2 pugmarks and 1 hair) were recorded (6.8 site/km and 11.1 signs/km). There
were 61.1% non-relic and 38.9% relic sites. The density of snow leopards in Phu Valley may be 4-5 snow
leopards/100 kmý.It was found that the Ghyo block had the highest sign density (13.6 mean sign item/km)
and Phu block (9.8 mean sign item/km) and the lowest in Ngoru block (3.9 mean sign item/km.). For blue sheep, direct count method was applied from different appropriate vantage points (fixed-point
count). I counted total individuals in each herd and classified all individuals whenever possible, using 8 X24
binocular and 15-60x spotting scope. A total 37 blue sheep herds and 1209 individuals were observed in
192.25 kmý of the study area (blue sheep density, 6.3 kmý). Average herd size was 32.68. Herd size varied
from 1 to 103 animals (the largest so far recorded). The average sex ratio male to female for the entire survey
area was 0.67. Recruitment rate was 47.13. The ratio of yearlings to adult female was 0.45. In Ghyo block
had total 168 blue sheep (area, 44.08 km2 or 3.8/ km2 i.e. 137.2 kg/ kmý). Blue sheep density in Ngoru block
showed 4.7/km2 (area, 65.47 km2). Highest density of blue sheep among three blocks was recorded in Phu
block, 8.9/km2 (or 320 kg/km2) in its 82.70 km2 area. A standard questionnaire was designed, and interviews conducted for relevant information was collected on
livestock depredation patterns (total household survey). Out of 33 households surveyed, 30 reported that they
had livestock depredation by the snow leopard in 2004. Altogether 58 animals were reportedly lost to snow
leopards (3.1% of the total mortality). Out of the estimated standing available biomass (1, 83,483kg) in the
Phu valley at least 2220 kg or 1.3% of the total livestock biomass was consumed by snow leopards in the
year of our study (2004). It was estimated that in the Phu valley annually 1.8 animals were lost per household
to snow leopards. This means approx. Rs.413560 (US$ 5,908) is lost annually in the valley (US$
179/household/annum). Ghyo block, had the highest animals loss (53.4%), followed by Phu block (36.2%)
and Ngoru block (10.3%) to snow leopards. There is positive correlation among the densities of blue sheep, relative abundance of the snow leopard and
livestock depredation. Blue sheep is the main prey species of the snow leopard in Phu valley and its
conservation therefore matters to reduce livestock depredation. A general patterns appears here that shows
that blue sheep (prey) abundance determine snow leopard (predator) abundance and that livestock
depredation by snow leopards may be minimal where there is good population of blue sheep, and vice versa.
The Snow Leopard Conservancy. (2002). A Survey of Kathmandu-based Trekking Agencies: Market Opportunities for Linking Community-Based Ecotourism with the Conservation of Snow Leopard in the Annapurna Conservation Area. Report prepared for WWF-Nepal Programme (Vol. SLC Field Series Document No. 4). Los Gatos, California.
Abstract: In 2001 the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation (KMTNC), Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP), Snow Leopard Conservancy (SLC) and WWF-Nepal initiated a collaborative project aimed at enhancing ecotourism in the Manang area, in ways that strengthen benefits to local communities while also protecting the environment and the local culture. Manang is known for its relatively dense snow leopard population, along with supporting good numbers of blue sheep, the endangered cat's principal prey through much of the Himalaya. However, snow leopards periodically kill many livestock, leading to retributive killing by herders along with other associated people-wildlife conflict. In order to encourage the local people to better co-exist with snow leopards and other wildlife, SLC, WWF-Nepal and ACAP agreed to explore ways of providing tourism benefits to local communities as an incentive to protect this rare predator and conserve its alpine habitat. Key in this regard is the possibility of developing locally guided nature treks, and accordingly, this survey was conducted in order to assess existing market opportunities and constraints to such ecotourism enterprise.