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Holt, C. D. S., Nevin, O. T., Smith, D., Convery, I. (2018). Environmental niche overlap between snow leopard and four prey species in Kazakhstan. Elsevier, (48), 97–103.
Abstract: The snow leopard Panthera uncia has declined due to habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and human persecution. Predator distribution is heavily dependent on prey species availability and distribution. With increasing pressures from farming practices encroaching into native species range and persecution of snow leopards in response to livestock depredation, it is vital to assess current predator and prey species distribution to highlight sensitive areas of overlap for protection. This study uses MaxEnt, a presence-only Species Distribution Model (SDM) to assess snow leopard and four prey species habitat suitability along
the southern and eastern borders of Kazakhstan using environmental data. This area is considered an important corridor between snow leopard populations in the north and south of their range. Each of the five SDM's produced models of �good� discriminating abilities. We then compared the potential niche overlap between snow leopard and four prey species using ENMTools to highlight areas of important niche overlap within the corridor. The results indicated a very high degree of overlap between snow leopard and Siberian ibex and high degrees Capra sibirica with red deer Cervus elaphus, argali Ovis ammon and urial Ovis orientalis. The snow leopard population in this region is also found to be using forested areas below 2500 m, much lower than recorded in other areas of their range. The results highlight areas needed for protection but also pose additional conservation questions regarding the importance of prey species to transitory individuals.
Johansson, O., Ausilio, G., Low, M., Lkhagvajav, P., Weckworth,
B., Sharma, K. (2020). The timing of breeding and independence for snow leopard females
and their cubs. Mammalian Biology, .
Abstract: Significant knowledge gaps persist on snow leopard demography
and reproductive behavior. From a GPS-collared population in Mongolia,
we estimated the timing of mating, parturition and independence. Based
on three mother–cub pairs, we describe the separation phase of the cub
from its mother as it gains independence. Snow leopards mated from
January–March and gave birth from April–June. Cubs remained with their
mother until their second winter (20–22 months of age) when cubs started
showing movements away from their mother for days at a time. This
initiation of independence appeared to coincide with their mother mating
with the territorial male. Two female cubs remained in their mothers’
territory for several months after initial separation, whereas the male
cub quickly dispersed. By comparing the relationship between body size
and age of independence across 11 solitary, medium-to-large felid
species, it was clear that snow leopards have a delayed timing of
separation compared to other species. We suggest this may be related to
their mating behavior and the difficulty of the habitat and prey capture
for juvenile snow leopards. Our results, while limited, provide
empirical estimates for understanding snow leopard ecology and for
parameterizing population models.
Villarrubia, C., & Jackson, R. (1994). Snow Leopard Conservation on a Regional Basis: Elements in Planning Protected Areas. In J.L.Fox, & D.Jizeng (Eds.), (pp. 253–263). Usa: Islt.