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Ale S. (2005). Have snow leopards made a comeback to the Everest region of Nepal?.
Abstract: In the 1960s, the endangered snow leopard was locally extirpated from the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) region of Nepal. In this Sherpa-inhabited high Himalaya, the flourishing tourism since the ascent of Mt Everest in 1953, has caused both prosperity and adverse impacts, the concern that catalyzed the establishment of Mt. Everest National Park in the region in 1976. In the late 1980s, there were reports that some transient snow leopards may have visited the area from adjoining Tibet, but no biological surveys exist to confirm the status of the cats and their prey. Have snow leopards finally returned to the top of the world? Exploring this question was the main purpose of this research project. We systematically walked altogether 24 sign transects covering over 13 km in length in three valleys, i.e. Namche, Phortse and Gokyo, of the park, and counted several snow leopard signs. The results indicated that snow leopards have made a comeback in the park in response to decades of protective measures, the virtual cessation of hunting and the recovery of the Himalayan tahr which is snow leopard's prey. The average sign density (4.2 signs/km and 2.5 sign sites/km) was comparable to that reported from other parts of the cats' range in the Himalaya. On this basis, we estimated the cat density in the Everest region between 1 to 3 cats per 100 sq km, a figure that was supported by different sets of pugmarks and actual sightings of snow leopards in the 60 km2 sample survey area. In the study area, tahr population had a low reproductive rate (e.g. kids-to-females ratio, 0.1, in Namche). Since predators can influence the size and the structure of prey species populations through mortality and through non-lethal effects or predation risk, snow leopards could have been the cause of the population dynamics of tahr in Sagarmtha, but this study could not confirm this speculation for which further probing may be required.
Keywords: snow; snow leopards; snow leopard; snow-leopards; snow-leopard; leopards; leopard; region; Nepal; Report; International; international snow leopard trust; International-Snow-Leopard-Trust; trust; program; 1960; endangered; Sagarmatha; High; Himalaya; tourism; impact; establishment; national; national park; National-park; park; 1980; area; Tibet; surveys; survey; status; Cats; cat; prey; research; project; sign; transects; transect; length; valley; Response; hunting; recovery; Himalayan; tahr; density; densities; range; pugmarks; sighting; 60; study; population; predators; predator; structure; prey species; prey-species; species; populations; mortality; effects; predation; population dynamics
Alexander, S., A., Zhang, C., Shi, K., Riordan, P. (2016). A granular view of a snow leopard population using camera traps in Central China. Biological Conservation, (197), 27–31.
Abstract: Successful conservation of the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) relies on the effectiveness of monitoring programmes. We present the results of a 19-month camera trap survey effort, conducted as part of a longterm study of the snow leopard population in Qilianshan National Nature Reserve of Gansu Province, China. Weassessed the minimumnumber of individual snowleopards and population density across different sampling periods using spatial capture–recapture methods. Between 2013–2014, we deployed 34 camera traps across an area of 375 km2, investing a total of 7133 trap-days effort. Weidentified a total number of 17–19 unique individuals
from photographs (10–12 adults, five sub-adults and two cubs). The total number of individuals identified and estimated density varied across sampling periods, between 10–15 individuals and 1.46–3.29 snow leopards per 100 km2 respectively. We demonstrate that snow leopard surveys of limited scale and conducted over short sampling periods only present partial views of a dynamic and transient system.We also underline the challenges in achieving a sufficient sample size of captures and recaptures to assess trends in snow leopard population size and/or density for policy and conservation decision-making
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.
Keywords: awareness; behaviour; biodiversity; conservation plan; decline; density; ecology; fund-raising; funding; habitat degradation; Himalayan; management; Mongolia; montane; pastoralists; pelt; predator; snow-leopard-conservation-plan; snow leopard; trade; Wwf
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.
Keywords: Report; mortality; blue; blue sheep; blue-sheep; sheep; Pseudois; pseudois nayaur; Pseudois-nayaur; nayaur; Dhorpatan; hunting; reserve; Nepal; biodiversity; research; training; snow; snow leopard; snow-leopard; leopard; conservation; program; population; Population-Density; density; densities; change; Sex; study; area; High; poaching; Pressure; reducing; number; predators; predator; poison; wolf; wolves; canis; Canis-lupus; lupus; wild; wild boar; prey; prey species; prey-species; species; scats; scat; value; fox; cover; deer; diet; leopards; pika; snow leopards; snow-leopards; soil; Relationship
Chetri, M., Odden, M., Sharma, K., Flagstad, O., Wegge, P. (2019). Estimating snow leopard density using fecal DNA in a large landscape in north-central Nepal. Global Ecology and Conservation, (17), 1–8.
Abstract: Although abundance estimates have a strong bearing on the conservation status of a
species, less than 2% of the global snow leopard distribution range has been sampled
systematically, mostly in small survey areas. In order to estimate snow leopard density
across a large landscape, we collected 347 putative snow leopard scats from 246 transects
(490 km) in twenty-six 5 5km sized sampling grid cells within 4393 km2 in Annapurna-
Manaslu, Nepal. From 182 confirmed snow leopard scats, 81 were identified as belonging
to 34 individuals; the remaining were discarded for their low (<0.625) quality index. Using
maximum likelihood based spatial capture recapture analysis, we developed candidate
model sets to test effects of various covariates on density and detection of scats on transects.
The best models described the variation in density as a quadratic function of
elevation and detection as a linear function of topography. The average density estimate of
snow leopards for the area of interest within Nepal was 0.95 (SE 0.19) animals per 100 km2
(0.66e1.41 95% CL) with predicted densities varying between 0.1 and 1.9 in different parts,
thus highlighting the heterogeneity in densities as a function of habitat types. Our density
estimate was low compared to previous estimates from smaller study areas. Probably,
estimates from some of these areas were inflated due to locally high abundances in overlap
zones (hotspots) of neighboring individuals, whose territories probably range far beyond
study area borders. Our results highlight the need for a large-scale approach in snow
leopard monitoring, and we recommend that methodological problems related to spatial
scale are taken into account in future snow leopard research.
Fox, J. L., & Chundawat, R. S. (1995). Wolves in the Transhimalayan region of India: The continued survival of a low-density population. Canadian Circumpolar Institute Occasional Publication No.35; Ecology and conservation of wolves in a changing world, 35, 95–103.
Abstract: Canadian Cirumpolar Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada/Second North American Symposium on Wolves, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, August 25-27, 1992
Keywords: Competition; Population-Density; Tibetan-Wolf; Transhimalayan-Region; Wildlife-Management; browse; population; density; tibetan; wolf; wildlife; management; transhimalayan; region; 710
Henschel, P., & Ray, J. (2003). Leopards in African Rainforests: Survey and Monitoring Techniques (Wildlife Conservation Society, Ed.).
Abstract: Monitoring Techniques Forest leopards have never been systematically surveyed in African forests, in spite of their potentially vital ecological role as the sole large mammalian predators in these systems. Because leopards are rarely seen in this habitat, and are difficult to survey using the most common techniques for assessing relative abundances of forest mammals, baseline knowledge of leopard ecology and responses to human disturbance in African forests remain largely unknown. This technical handbook sums up the experience gained during a two-year study of leopards by Philipp Henschel in the Lop‚ Reserve in Gabon, Central Africa, in 2001/2002, supplemented by additional experience from carnivore studies conducted by Justina Ray in southwestern Central African Republic and eastern Congo (Zaire) . The main focus of this effort has been to develop a protocol that can be used by fieldworkers across west and central Africa to estimate leopard densities in various forest types. In developing this manual, Henschel tested several indirect methods to assess leopard numbers in both logged and unlogged forests, with the main effort devoted to testing remote photography survey methods developed for tigers by Karanth (e.g., Karanth 1995, Karanth & Nichols 1998; 2000; 2002), and modifying them for the specific conditions characterizing African forest environments. This handbook summarizes the results of the field testing, and provides recommendations for techniques to assess leopard presence/absence, relative abundance, and densities in African forest sites. We briefly review the suitability of various methods for different study objectives and go into particular detail on remote photography survey methodology, adapting previously developed methods and sampling considerations specifically to the African forest environment. Finally, we briefly discuss how camera trapping may be used as a tool to survey other forest mammals. Developing a survey protocol for African leopards is a necessary first step towards a regional assessment and priority setting exercise targeted at forest leopards, similar to those carried out on large carnivores in Asian and South American forests.
Keywords: forest leopards; african rainforests; survey; monitoring techniques; lope reserve; gabon; central africa; congo; zaire; field testing; populations; wild meat; relative abundance; density; live-trapping; presence and absense surveys; ad-hoc survey; bushmeat; systematic survey; monitoring; individual identification; tracks; Discriminant Function Analysis; genotyping; scat; Hair; Dna; remote photography; camera trapping; capture rates; Trailmaster; Camtrakker; bait; duikers; pigs; elephant; bongo; okapi; human hunters; 5300
Jiang, Z. (2005). Snow leopards in the Dulan International Hunting Ground, Qinghai, China.
Abstract: From March to May, 2006œªwe conducted extensive snow leopard surveys in the Burhanbuda Mountain Kunlun Mountains, Qinghai Province, China. 32 linear transect of 5~15 km each, which running through each vegetation type, were surveyed within the study area. A total of 72 traces of snow leopard were found along 4 transects (12.5% of total transects). The traces included pug marks or footprints, scrapes and urine marks. We estimated the average density of wild ungulates in the region was 2.88ñ0.35 individuals km-2(n=29). We emplaced 16 auto2 trigger cameras in different environments and eight photos of snow leopard were shot by four cameras and the capture rate of snow leopard was 71.4%. The minimum snow leopard population size in the Burhanbuda Mountain was two, because two snow leopards were phototrapped by different cameras at almost same time. Simultaneously, the cameras also shot 63 photos of other wild animals, including five photos are unidentified wild animals, and 20 photos of livestock. We evaluated the human attitudes towards snow leopard by interviewing with 27 Tibetan householders of 30 householders live in the study area. We propose to establish a nature reserve for protecting and managing snow leopards in the region. Snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is considered as a unique species because it lives above the snow line, it is endemic to alpines in Central Asia, inhabiting in 12 countries across Central Asia (Fox, 1992). Snow leopard ranges in alpine areas in Qinghai, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Gansu and Sichuan in western China (Liao, 1985, 1986; Zhou, 1987; Ma et al., 2002; Jiang & Xu, 2006). The total population and habitat of snow leopards in China are estimated to be 2,000~2,500 individuals and 1,824,316 km2, only 5% of which is under the protection of nature reserves. The cat's current range is fragmented (Zou & Zheng, 2003). Due to strong human persecutions, populations of snow leopards decreased significantly since the end of the 20th century. Thus, the
snow leopards are under the protection of international and domestic laws. From March to May, 2006, we conducted two field surveys in Zhiyu Village, Dulan County in Burhanbuda Mountain, Kunlun Mountains, China to determine the population, distribution and survival status of snow leopards in the area. The aim of the study was to provide ecologic data for snow leopard conservation.
Keywords: snow; snow leopards; snow leopard; snow-leopards; snow-leopard; leopards; leopard; International; hunting; Qinghai; China; project; international snow leopard trust; International-Snow-Leopard-Trust; trust; program; surveys; survey; mountains; mountain; province; transect; study; area; transects; pug; pug marks; pug-marks; marks; scrapes; scrape; density; densities; wild; ungulates; ungulate; region; camera; environment; photo; capture; population; population size; population-size; Animals; Animal; 20; livestock; Human; attitudes; attitude; tibetan; 30; nature; reserve; uncia; Uncia uncia; Uncia-uncia; species; snow line; snow-line; endemic; alpine; central; Central Asia; asia; countries; country; fox; range; areas; Xinjiang; inner; Inner-Mongolia; Mongolia; Tibet; gansu; Sichuan; habitat; protection; nature reserves; reserves; cat; populations; domestic; laws; law; field; field surveys; field survey; field-surveys; field-survey; Kunlun; distribution; survival; status; Data; conservation
|Koshkarev, E. P. (1992). Range Structure, Numbers and Population Status of the Snow Leopard in the Tien Shan (Vol. x). Seattle: International Snow Leopard Trust.|
McCarthy, K., Fuller, T., Ming, M., McCarthy, T., Waits, L., & Jumabaev, K. (2008). Assessing Estimators of Snow Leopard Abundance (Vol. 72).
Abstract: The secretive nature of snow leopards (Uncia uncia) makes them difficult to monitor, yet conservation efforts require accurate and precise methods to estimate abundance. We assessed accuracy of Snow Leopard Information Management System (SLIMS) sign surveys by comparing them with 4 methods for estimating snow leopard abundance: predator:prey biomass ratios, capture-recapture density estimation, photo-capture rate, and individual identification through genetic analysis. We recorded snow leopard sign during standardized surveys in the SaryChat Zapovednik, the Jangart hunting reserve, and the Tomur Strictly Protected Area, in the Tien Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan and China. During June-December 2005, adjusted sign averaged 46.3 (SaryChat), 94.6 (Jangart), and 150.8 (Tomur) occurrences/km. We used
counts of ibex (Capra ibex) and argali (Ovis ammon) to estimate available prey biomass and subsequent potential snow leopard densities of 8.7 (SaryChat), 1.0 (Jangart), and 1.1 (Tomur) snow leopards/100 km2. Photo capture-recapture density estimates were 0.15 (n = 1 identified individual/1 photo), 0.87 (n = 4/13), and 0.74 (n = 5/6) individuals/100 km2 in SaryChat, Jangart, and Tomur, respectively. Photo-capture rates
(photos/100 trap-nights) were 0.09 (SaryChat), 0.93 (Jangart), and 2.37 (Tomur). Genetic analysis of snow leopard fecal samples provided minimum population sizes of 3 (SaryChat), 5 (Jangart), and 9 (Tomur) snow leopards. These results suggest SLIMS sign surveys may be affected by observer bias and environmental variance. However, when such bias and variation are accounted for, sign surveys indicate relative abundances similar to photo rates and genetic individual identification results. Density or abundance estimates based on capture-recapture or ungulate biomass did not agree with other indices of abundance. Confidence in estimated densities, or even detection of significant changes in abundance of snow leopard, will require more effort and better documentation.
Keywords: abundance; camera,capture-recapture,density,index,predator:prey ratios,techniques,Tien Shan,Uncia; leopard; SaryChat; sign surveys; Slims; snow; snow-leopard; snow leopard; Tomur