Anonymous. (2000). A snow leopard conservation plan for Mongolia.
Abstract: The snow leopard faces multiple threats in the Himalayan region, from habitat degradation, loss of prey, the trade in pelts, parts and live animals, and conflict with humans, primarily pastoralists. Consequently, the populations are considered to be in decline and the species is listed as Endangered in the IUCN's Red List. As a 'flagship' and 'umbrella' species the snow leopard can be a unifying biological feature to raise awareness of its plight and the need for conservation, which will benefit other facets of Himalayan biodiversity as well. Some studies of snow leopards have been conducted in the Himalayan region. But, because of its elusive nature and preference for remote and inaccessible habitat, knowledge of the ecology and behaviour of this mystical montane predator is scant. The available information, however, suggests that snow leopards occur at low densities and large areas of habitat are required to conserve a viable population. Thus, many researchers and conservationists have advocated landscape-scale approaches to conservation within a regional context, rather than focusing on individual protected areas.This regional strategy for WWF's snow leopard conservation program is built on such an approach. The following were identified as important regional issues: 1) international trade in snow leopards and parts; 2) the human-snow leopard conflict; 3) the need for a landscape approach to conservation to provide large spatial areas that can support demographically and ecologically viable snow leopard metapopulations; 4) research on snow leopard ecology to develop long-term, science-based conservation management plans; and 5) regional coordination and dialog. While the issues are regional, the WWF's in the region have developed 5-year strategic actions and activities, using the regional strategies as a touchstone, which will be implemented at national levels. The WWF's will develop proposals based on these strategic actions, with estimated budgets, for use by the network for funding and fund-raising. WWF also recognizes the need to collaborate and coordinate within the network and with other organizations in the region to achieve conservation goals in an efficient manner, and will form a working group to coordinate activities and monitor progress.
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.
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