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Aryal, A. (2009). Final Report On Demography and Causes of Mortality of Blue Sheep (Pseudois nayaur) in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve in Nepal.
Abstract: A total of 206 individual Blue sheep Pseudois nayaur were estimated in Barse and Phagune blocks of Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve (DHR) and population density was 1.8 Blue sheep/sq.km. There was not significant change in population density from last 4 decades. An average 7 animals/herd (SD-5.5) were classified from twenty nine herds, sheep per herds varying from 1 to 37. Blue sheep has classified into sex ratio on an average 75 male/100females was recorded in study area. The sex ratio was slightly lower but not significantly different from the previous study. Population of Blue sheep was seen stable or not decrease even there was high poaching pressure, the reason may be reducing the number of predators by poison and poaching which has
supported to increase blue sheep population. Because of reducing the predators Wolf Canis lupus, Wild boar population was increasing drastically in high rate and we can observed wild boar above the tree line of DHR. The frequency of occurrence of different prey species in scats of different predators shows that, excluding zero values, the frequencies of different prey species were no significantly different (ö2= 10.3, df = 49, p > 0.05). Most of the scats samples (74%) of Snow leopard, Wolf, Common Leopard, Red fox's cover one prey species while two and three species were present in 18% and 8%, respectively. Barking deer Muntiacus muntjak was the most frequent (18%) of total diet composition of common leopards. Pika Ochotona roylei was the most frequent (28%), and Blue sheep was in second position for diet of snow leopards which cover 21% of total diet composition. 13% of diet covered non-food item such as soil, stones, and vegetable. Pika was most frequent on Wolf and Red fox diet which covered 32% and 30% respectively. There was good positive relationship between the scat density and Blue sheep consumption rate, increasing the scat density, increasing the Blue sheep consumption rate. Blue sheep preference by different predators such as Snow leopard, Common leopard, Wolf and Red fox were 20%, 6%, 13% and 2% of total prey species respectively.
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.
Forrest, J. L., Wikramanayake, E., Shrestha, R., Areendran, G., Gyeltshen, K., Maheshwari, A., Mazumdar, S., Naidoo, R., Thapa, G. J., Thapa, K. (2012). Conservation and climate change: Assessing the vulnerability of snow leopard habitat to treeline shift in the Himalaya. Biological Conservation, 150, 129–135.
Abstract: Climate change is likely to affect the persistence of large, space-requiring species through habitat shifts,
loss, and fragmentation. Anthropogenic land and resource use changes related to climate change can also
impact the survival of wildlife. Thus, climate change has to be integrated into biodiversity conservation
plans. We developed a hybrid approach to climate-adaptive conservation landscape planning for snow
leopards in the Himalayan Mountains. We first mapped current snow leopard habitat using a mechanistic
approach that incorporated field-based data, and then combined it with a climate impact model using a
correlative approach. For the latter, we used statistical methods to test hypotheses about climatic drivers
of treeline in the Himalaya and its potential response to climate change under three IPCC greenhouse gas
emissions scenarios. We then assessed how change in treeline might affect the distribution of snow leopard
habitat. Results indicate that about 30% of snow leopard habitat in the Himalaya may be lost due to a
shifting treeline and consequent shrinking of the alpine zone, mostly along the southern edge of the range
and in river valleys. But, a considerable amount of snow leopard habitat and linkages are likely to remain
resilient to climate change, and these should be secured. This is because, as the area of snow leopard habitat
fragments and shrinks, threats such as livestock grazing, retaliatory killing, and medicinal plant collection
can intensify. We propose this approach for landscape conservation planning for other species
with extensive spatial requirements that can also be umbrella species for overall biodiversity.
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Li, J., McCarthy, T. M., Wang, H., Weckworth, B. V., Shaller, G. B., Mishra, C., Lu, Z., Beissinger, S. R. (2016). Climate refugia of snow leopards in High Asia. Biological Conservation, (203), 188–196.
Abstract: Rapidwarming in High Asia is threatening its unique ecosystemand endemic species, especially the endangered
snow leopard (Panthera uncia). Snow leopards inhabit the alpine zone between snow line and tree line, which
contracts and expands greatly during glacier-interglacial cycles. Here we assess impacts of climate change on
global snow leopard habitat from the last glacial maximum (LGM; 21 kyr ago) to the late 21st century. Based
on occurrence records of snow leopards collected across all snow leopard range countries from 1983 to 2015,
we built a snow leopard habitat model using the maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt 3.3.3k). Then we
projected this model into LGM, mid-Holocene and 2070. Analysis of snow leopard habitat map from LGM to
2070 indicates that three large patches of stable habitat have persisted from the LGM to present in the Altai,
Qilian, and Tian Shan-Pamir-Hindu Kush-Karakoram mountain ranges, and are projected to persist through the
late 21st century. These climatically suitable areas account for about 35% of the snow leopard's current extent,
are large enough to support viable populations, and should function as refugia for snow leopards to survive
through both cold and warm periods. Existence of these refugia is largely due to the unique mountain environment
in High Asia, which maintains a relatively constant arid or semi-arid climate. However, habitat loss leading
to fragmentation in the Himalaya and Hengduan Mountains, as well as increasing human activities, will present
conservation challenges for snow leopards and other sympatric species.
Miller, D. J., & Jackson, R. (1994). Livestock and Snow Leopards:making room for competing users on the Tibetian Plateau. In J.L.Fox, & D.Jizeng (Eds.), (pp. 315–328). Usa: Islt.
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.
Sloane, A., Kelly, C., McDavitt, S., & Marples, N. (1998). Big cats in captivity: a quantitative analysis of enrichment. Adv.Etho, 33, 43.
Abstract: Studies on three species of big cats at Dublin Zoo have led to firm conclusions about the effects of certain forms of enrichment, some of which will be presented here. Lions, jaguars, and snow leopards were studied over two years and their behaviours quantified using focal animal sampling during selected hours during daylight. By comparison of these activity budgets with and without the enrichments being present, it was possible to identify the exact behavioural changes caused by each enrichment method, and to quantify these changes. In this contribution we present results showing that the presence of a platform in both lion and jaguar enclosures dramatically reduced stereotypic pacing behaviour. We will demonstrate that the effects of short term enrichment devices may have a wide range of effects on behaviours which outlast the presence of the stimulus. For instance scents added to the cage, or food/play items such as horse hides, hidden fish or ice-blocks often reduce pacing and increase resting later in the day, even after the cats have ceased using the enrichment items. This reduction in pacing and increase in resting time often meant that the amount of the enclosure used per hour was actually reduced with the presence of new stimuli, as result opposite to what might have been expected. The results of these studies will be discussed in relation to effective animal management.
Wangchuk, R., & Jackson, R. (2009). A Community-based Approach to Mitigating Livestock-Wildlife Conflict in Ladakh, India.
Abstract: Livestock depredation by snow leopard and wolf is widespread across the Himalayan region (Jackson et al. 1996, Jackson and Wangchuk 2001; Mishra 1997, Oli et al 1994). For example, in India's Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary, Mishra (1997) reported losses amounting to 18% of the livestock holdings and valued at about US $138 per household. The villagers claimed predation rates increased after establishment of the sanctuary, but
surveys indicated a dramatic increase in livestock numbers accompanying changes in animal husbandry systems (Mishra 2000).