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Ale, S. B., Yonzon, P., & Thapa, K. (2007). Recovery of snow leopard Uncia uncia in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park, Nepal (Vol. 41).
Abstract: From September to November 2004 we conducted surveys of snow leopard Uncia uncia signs in three major valleys in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park in Nepal using the Snow Leopard Information Management System, a standardized survey technique for snow leopard research. We walked 24 transects covering c. 14 km and located 33 sites with 56 snow leopard signs, and 17 signs incidentally in other areas. Snow leopards appear to have re-inhabited the Park, following their disappearance c. 40 years ago, apparently following the recovery of Himalayan tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus and musk deer Moschus chrysogaster populations. Taken together the locations of all 73 recent snow leopard signs indicate that the species is using predominantly grazing land and shrubland/ open forest at elevations of 3,000-5,000 m, habitat types that are also used by domestic and wild ungulates. Sagarmatha is the homeland of c. 3,500 Buddhist Sherpas with .3,000 livestock. Along with tourism and associated developments in Sagarmatha, traditional land use practices could be used to ensure coexistence of livestock and wildlife, including the recovering snow leopards, and ensure the wellbeing of the Sherpas.
Aromov B. (1995). The Biology of the Snow Leopard in the Hissar Nature Reserve.
Abstract: The work contains data on biology snow leopard in Hissar nature reserve, Uzbekistan. The number of snow leopards in this reserve has increased from two or four in 1981 to between 13 and 17 individuals in 1994. Since 1981, snow leopards have been sighted 72 times and their tracks or pugmarks 223 times. In the Hissar Nature Reserve snow leopards largely feed on ibex. Over a period of 14 years, 92 kills and remains of ibex aged from one to thirteen years of age have been examined. Other records of predation, by the number of events observed, include 33 cases of juvenile and mature horses, 25 long-tailed marmot (Marmota caudata). 18 Himalayan snowcock (Tetraogallus himalayemis), 17 domestic goat, 13 wild boar (Sus scrofa), five domestic sheep and three incidents involving cattle. Twenty-two attacks on domestic flocks were reported, and these occurred during both the daytime and at night. Snow leopards usually mate between the 20th of February and March 20th. The offspring are born in late April to May, and there are usually two per litter (23 encounters), although a single litter of three has also been recorded.
Chapron, G., & Legendre, S. (2002). Some Insights Into Snow Leopard (Uncia Uncia) Demography By Using Stage Structured Population Models.. Seattle: Islt.
Abstract: Based on the limited data available on snow leopard demography, we developed deterministic and stochastic stage-structured demographic models to study the population dynamics of this large cat. Our results reveal that even small leopard populations can persist provided their demographic parameters remain high, but less favorable scenarios would require larger population sizes. Population growth rate is more sensitive to breeder survivals than to any other parameters. A snow leopard population would start declining if yearly mortality claims more than 1/5 of the population. This study identifies poaching as a major threat to snow leopard survival and stresses the importance of long-term studies to better understand snow leopard population dynamics.
Harris, R. B. (1994). A note on snow leopards and local people in Nangqian County, Southern Qinghai Province. In J.L.Fox, & D. Jizeng (Eds.), (pp. 79–84). Usa: Islt.
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.
Kyes, R., & Chalise, M. K. (2005). Assessing the Status of the Snow Leopard Population in Langtang National Park, Nepal.
Abstract: This project is part of an ongoing snow leopard study established in 2003 with support from the ISLT. The study involves a multifaceted approach designed to provide important baseline data on the status of the snow leopard population in Langtang National Park (LNP), Nepal and to generate long-term support and commitment to the conservation of snow leopards in the park. The specific aims include: 1) conducting a population survey of the snow leopards in LNP, focusing on distribution and abundance; 2) assessing the status of prey species populations in the park; and 3) providing educational outreach programs on snow leopard conservation for local school children (K-8) living in the park. During the 2004 study period, snow leopard signs were observed (including pugmarks and scats) although somewhat fewer than in 2003. Similarly, the average herd size of the snow leopards' primary prey species in LNP (the Himalayan thar) was a bit lower than in 2003. There is speculation that the thar populations and the snow leopards may be moving to more remotes areas of the park perhaps in response to increasing pressure from domestic livestock grazing. This possibility is being addressed during the 2005 study period.
Mongolian Biosphere & Ecology Association. (2010). Mongolian Biosphere & Ecology Association Report March 2010.
Abstract: In accordance with order of the Ministry of Nature and Tourism,
zoologists of our association have made surveys in three ways such as
reasons why snow leopards attack domestic animals, “Snow leopard” trial
operation to count them and illegal hunting in territories of Khovd,
Gobi-Altai, Bayankhongor, Uvurkhangai and Umnugobi provinces from
September 2009 to January 2010. As result of these surveys it has made
the following conclusions in the followings: Reason to hunt them illegally: the principal reason is that
administrative units have been increased and territories of
administrative units have been diminished. There have been four
provinces in 1924 to 1926, 18 since 1965, 21 since 1990. Such situation
limits movements of herdsmen completely and pastures digressed much than
ever before. As result of such situation, 70% of pastures become desert.
Such digression caused not only heads of animals and also number of
species. Guarantee is that birds such as owls, cuckoo, willow grouse in
banks of Uyert river, Burkhanbuudai mountain, located in Biger soum,
Gobi-Altai province, which are not hunted by hunters, are disappearing
in the recent two decades. For that reason we consider it is urgently
necessary for the government to convert administrative unit structures
into four provinces. This would influence herdsmen moving across
hundreds km and pastures could depart from digression.
Second reason: cooperative movement won. The issues related to management and strengthening of national
cooperatives, considered by Central Committee of Mongolian People's
Revolutionary Party in the meeting in March 1953 was the start of
cooperatives' movement. Consideration by Yu. Tsedenbal, chairman of
Ministers Council, chairman of the MPRP, on report "Result of to unify
popular units and some important issues to maintain entity management of
agricultural cooperatives" in the fourth meeting by the Central
Committee of Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party /MPRP/ on December
16-17, 1959, proclaimed complete victory of cooperative. At the end of
1959, it could unify 767 small cooperative into 389 ones, unify 99.3 %
of herdsmen and socialize 73.3 % of animals. The remaining of animals
amount 6 million 163 thousands animals, and equals to 26.7% of total
animals. This concerned number of animals related to the article
mentioned that every family should have not more that 50 animals in
Khangai zone and not more 75 animals in Gobi desert. It shows that such
number could not satisfy needs of family if such number is divided into
five main animals in separating with reproduction animals and adult
animals. So herdsmen started hunt hoofed animals secretly and illegally
in order to satisfy their meat needs. Those animals included main food
of snow leopard such as ibex, wild sheep, and marmot. Third reason is that the state used to hunt ibex, which are main
nutrition of snow leopards, every year. The administrative unit of the
soum pursued policy to hunt ibex in order to provide meat needs of
secondary schools and hospitals. That's why this affected decrease of
ibex population. Preciously from 1986 to 1990 the permissions to hunt
one thousands of wild sheep and two thousands of ibexes were hunt for
domestic alimentary use every year. Not less than 10 local hunters of every soum used to take part in big
game of ibexes. Also they hunted many ibexes, chose 3-10 best ibexes and
hid them in the mountains for their consummation during hunting.
Fourth reason: hunting of wolves. Until 1990 the state used to give
prizes to hunter, who killed a wolf in any seasons of the year. Firstly
it offered a sheep for the wolf hunter and later it gave 25 tugrugs /15
USD/. Every year, wolf hunting was organized several times especially
picking wolf-cubs influenced spread and population of wolves. So snow
leopard came to the places where wolves survived before and attack
domestic animals. Such situation continued until 1990. Now population of
ibexes has decreased than before 1990 since the state stopped hunting
wolves, population of wolves increased in mountainous zones. We didn't
consider it had been right since it was natural event. However
population of ibexes decreased. Fifth reason: Global warming. In recent five years it has had a drought
and natural disaster from excessive snow in the places where it has
never had such natural disasters before. But Mongolia has 40 million
heads of domestic animals it has never increased like such quantity in
its history before. We consider it is not incorrect that decrease of
domestic animals could give opportunities to raise population of wild
animals. Our next survey is to make attempt to fix heads of snow leopards
correctly with low costs.
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.
Shrestha, B. (2008). Prey Abundance and Prey Selection by Snow Leopard (uncia uncia) in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Nepal.
Abstract: Predators have significant ecological impacts on the region's prey-predator dynamic and community structure through their numbers and prey selection. During April-December 2007, I conducted a research in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park (SNP) to: i) explore population status and density of wild prey species; Himalayan tahr, musk deer and game birds, ii) investigate diet of the snow leopard and to estimate prey selection by snow leopard, iii) identify the pattern of livestock depredation by snow leopard, its mitigation, and raise awareness through outreach program, and identify the challenge and opportunities on conservation snow leopard and its co-existence with wild ungulates and the human using the areas of the SNP. Methodology of my research included vantage points and regular monitoring from trails for Himalayan tahr, fixed line transect with belt drive method for musk deer and game birds, and microscopic hair identification in snow leopard's scat to investigate diet of snow leopard and to estimate prey selection. Based on available evidence and witness accounts of snow leopard attack on livestock, the patterns of livestock depredation were assessed. I obtained 201 sighting of Himalayan tahr (1760 individuals) and estimated 293 populations in post-parturient period (April-June), 394 in birth period (July -October) and 195 November- December) in rutting period. In average, ratio of male to females was ranged from 0.34 to 0.79 and ratio of kid to female was 0.21-0.35, and yearling to kid was 0.21- 0.47. The encounter rate for musk deer was 1.06 and density was 17.28/km2. For Himalayan monal, the encounter rate was 2.14 and density was 35.66/km2. I obtained 12 sighting of snow cock comprising 69 individual in Gokyo. The ratio of male to female was 1.18 and young to female was 2.18. Twelve species (8 species of wild and 4 species of domestic livestock) were identified in the 120 snow leopard scats examined. In average, snow leopard predated most frequently on Himalayan tahr and it was detected in 26.5% relative frequency of occurrence while occurred in 36.66% of all scats, then it was followed by musk deer (19.87%), yak (12.65%), cow (12.04%), dog (10.24%), unidentified mammal (3.61%), woolly hare (3.01%), rat sp. (2.4%), unidentified bird sp. (1.8%), pika (1.2%), and shrew (0.6%) (Table 5.8 ). Wild species were present in 58.99% of scats whereas domestic livestock with dog were present in 40.95% of scats. Snow leopard predated most frequently on wildlife species in three seasons; spring (61.62%), autumn (61.11%) and winter (65.51%), and most frequently on domestic species including dog in summer season (54.54%). In term of relative biomass consumed, in average, Himalayan tahr was the most important prey species contributed 26.27% of the biomass consumed. This was followed by yak (22.13%), cow (21.06%), musk deer (11.32%), horse (10.53%), wooly hare (1.09%), rat (0.29%), pika (0.14%) and shrew (0.07%). In average, domestic livestock including dog were contributed more biomass in the diet of snow leopard comprising 60.8% of the biomass consumed whilst the wild life species comprising 39.19%. The annual prey consumption by a snow leopard (based on 2 kg/day) was estimated to be three Himalayan tahr, seven musk deer, five wooly hare, four rat sp., two pika, one shrew and four livestock. In the present study, the highest frequency of attack was found during April to June and lowest to July to November. The day of rainy and cloudy was the more vulnerable to livestock depredation. Snow leopard attacks occurred were the highest at near escape cover such as shrub land and cliff. Both predation pressure on tahr and that on livestock suggest that the development of effective conservation strategies for two threatened species (predator and prey) depends on resolving conflicts between people and predators. Recently, direct control of free – ranging livestock, good husbandry and compensation to shepherds may reduce snow leopard – human conflict. In long term solution, the reintroduction of blue sheep at the higher altitudes could also “buffer” predation on livestock.
Shrestha, R., & Wegge, P. (2008). Habitat relationships between wild and domestic herbivores in Nepalese trans – Himalaya. Journal of Arid Environments, 72, 914–925.
Abstract: In the semi-arid ecosystems of Asia, where pastoralism is a main subsistence occupation, grazing competition from domestic stock is believed to displace the wild ungulates. We studied the habitat relationships among sympatric naur and domestic yak and smallstock in Phu valley in upper Manang district, Nepal, on the basis of their distribution on vegetation types, elevation and slope. To control for the disturbance effect by humans, we collected the data on naur from those ranges where domestic stock were not being attended by herders. We applied correspondence analysis to explore habitat associations among animal groups (n ¬ 1415) within and across-seasons. Within each association, interspecific habitat overlaps and species habitat preferences were calculated. Naur was strongly associated with free-ranging yak as they used similar altitudinal ranges in all seasons, except in spring. Their distributions on vegetation types and slopes were also quite similar, except for a stronger preference for alpine meadows by naur during summer and winter. Naur and smallstock did not form temporal associations as the latter consistently used lower elevations. In autumn and spring, however, naur spatially overlapped with the summer range of smallstock, and both preferred the alpine meadow habitat during these periods. Alpine meadow was the least abundant vegetation type but was consistently and preferentially used by all animal groups across seasons. At high stocking densities, all three animals groups are therefore likely to compete for this vegetation type. The role of spatio-temporal heterogeneity for interpreting the interspecific relationships among ungulates in the semi-arid rangelands of the trans-Himalaya is discussed.