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Ale, S., & Brown, J. (2007). The contingencies of group size and vigilance (Vol. 9).
Abstract: Background: Predation risk declines non-linearly with one's own vigilance and the vigilance of others in the group (the 'many-eyes' effect). Furthermore, as group size increases, the individual's risk of predation may decline through dilution with more potential victims, but may increase if larger groups attract more predators. These are known, respectively, as the dilution effect and the attraction effect.
Assumptions: Feeding animals use vigilance to trade-off food and safety. Net feeding rate declines linearly with vigilance.
Question: How do the many-eyes, dilution, and attraction effects interact to influence the relationship between group size and vigilance behaviour?
Mathematical methods: We use game theory and the fitness-generating function to determine the ESS level of vigilance of an individual within a group.
Predictions: Vigilance decreases with group size as a consequence of the many-eyes and dilution effects but increases with group size as a consequence of the attraction effect, when they act independent of each other. Their synergetic effects on vigilance depend upon the relative strengths of each and their interactions. Regardless, the influence of other factors on vigilance – such as encounter rate with predators, predator lethality, marginal value of energy, and value of vigilance – decline with group size.
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.
Fox, J. L., Sinya, S. P., Chundawat, R. S., & Das, P. K. (1986). A Survey of Snow Leopard and Associated Species in the Himalaya of Northwestern India, Project Completion Report.
Gurung, G. T. K. (2004). Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia) and Human Interaction in Phoo Village in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal.
Abstract: Phoo village in the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) in Nepal is located at 4,052 m als physically
in the central north of the country. Livestock keeping is the main activity of the people for making a
living amidst a conflict with snow leopard (Uncia uncia). Each year snow leopard kills a number of
livestock resulting significant economic losses for the poor people living in this remote area. Unless
the people – snow leopard conflict is well understood and appropriate conflict management activities
are implemented, the long run co-existence between people and snow leopard – especially the
existence of snow leopard in this part of the world -will be in question. This has now become an
utmost important as the aspiration of the people for economic development has risen significantly and
the area has been opened to tourism since spring 2002. In addition to this, the globalisation process has
directly and indirectly affected the traditional resource management practices and co-existence
strategies of many traditional societies including Phoo.
The livestock depredation for 3 years (2001 – 2004) by snow leopard was studied by interviewing the
herders to understand the responsible and specific bio-physical and socio-economic factors. The study
revealed that goats are most depredated species followed by sheep. Winter months (January – April)
and winter pastures are most vulnerable to snow leopard predation. Presence of bushes, forest and
boulders make good hides for snow leopard resulting into high depredation. The study also showed
that a lax animal guarding system was significantly responsible for high livestock depredation by snow
The study showed that improvement in livestock guarding system should be adopted as the most
important activity. However despite the importance of livestock in the economy of Phoo it is still not
well understood why the herders neglect for proper livestock guarding. This requires further study.
Proper guarding system is required especially in winter season in winter pastures. It is also suggested
that there should be changes in the composition of livestock species by promoting more yaks and
discouraging or minimising goats. Yaks and large animals are less depredated and small animals like
goats and sheep are highly depredated by snow leopard. A trend was also observed in Phoo village
where there is an increase in the number of yaks and a decrease in the number of goats over last few
years. This could be a management response of the herders to livestock depredation. Other protective
measures of the livestock at the corrals have also been recommended including promotion of guard
dogs and other measures.
Since the area is opened for tourism, it is suggested that the tourism opportunity for the economic
development of the area should be grasped so that the heavy dependence on livestock raising would be
minimised. This will help minimise the number of human – snow leopard conflicts.
Khan, B., Ablimit, A., Nawaz, M. A., Ali, R., Khan, M. Z., Jaffaruddin, Karim, R. (2014). Pastoralist experience and tolerance of snow leopard, wolf and lynx predation in Karakoram Pamir Mountains. Journal of Biodiversity and Envirnomental Sciences, 5(4), 214–229.
Abstract: Human-carnivore conflict is a common conservation and livelihood issue in mountain communities. This study was conducted to understand nature and extent of socio-ecological interaction between pastoralism and wildlife conservation in cold deserts of Karakoram Pamir Mountains (KPM) between China and Pakistan. Study revealed that livestock depredation is a burning issue in KPM with varying intensity from place to place, depending upon wild prey abundance, herd size, herding practices, predator type and age. Snow leopard, wolf and lynx were the major predators, while Brown bear despite its presence was reported being less fatal to livestock. Snow leopard killed highest number of animals (88.7% n=1440) mostly sheep and goats whereas, wolf killed more juvenile yaks. Lynx was found occasionally predating on young domestic crop. Highest number of kills was recorded from pastures during summer months (July-Aug) when animals were free grazing or were kept inside pens at night. Wild prey base being abysmally low, livestock seemed offering a considerable portion of diet to carnivores. Despite considerable losses from carnivores, more respondents in KNP (Pakistan) buffer zone had sympathies for predators compared to those in TNR (China) who were annoyed of the carnivores. Although people attributed escalating human-carnivore conflict to a higher level of protection to wild animals in Protected Areas (PA) but efforts are still needed to judiciously integrate conservation with local livelihood and development needs, otherwise herders may continue losing their livestock to predators and retaliatory killing of endangered carnivore species i.e., Snow leopard and Wolf may continue unabated and would further destabilize the fragile mountain ecosystem.
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.
Raghavan, B., Bhatnagar, Y., & Qureshi, Q. (2003). Interactions between livestock and Ladakh urial (Ovis vignei vignei); final report.
Abstract: The Ladakh urial (Ovis vignei vignei) is a highly endangered animal (IUCN Red List 2000) listed in the Appendix 1 of CITES and Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Its numbers had been reduced to a few hundred individuals in the 1960s and 70s through hunting for trophies and meat (Fox et al. 1991, Mallon 1983, Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, IUCN Red List 2000). However, with the protection bestowed by the IWPA 1972, and resultant decrease in hunting, the population seems to have shown a marginal increase to about 1000-1500 individuals in its range in Ladakh (Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, IUCN Red List 2000). Although the species had in the past, been able to coexist with the predominantly Buddhist society of Ladakh, the recent increase in the population of both humans and their livestock has placed immense pressures on its habitat (Shackleton 1997, Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, Raghavan and Bhatnagar 2003). This is especially important considering that the Ladakh urial habitat coincides with the areas of maximum human activity in terms of settlements, agriculture, pastoralism and development, in Ladakh (Fox et al. 1991, Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, Raghavan and Bhatnagar 2003). Increased developmental activities such as construction of roads, dams, and military bases in these areas have also increased the access to their habitat. This has consequently made the species more vulnerable to the threats of poaching and habitat destruction (Fox et al. 1991, Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, Raghavan and Bhatnagar 2002). Pressure from increased livestock grazing is one of the major threats faced by the species today (Shackleton 1997, Fox et al. 1991, Mallon 1983, IUCN Red List 2000 Chundawat and Qureshi 1999, Raghavan and Bhatnagar 2003). In the impoverished habitat provided by the Trans-Himalayas, there is great competition for the scarce resources between various animal species surviving here (Fox 1996, Mishra 2001). The presence of livestock intensifies this competition and can either force the species out of its niche (competitive exclusion) by displacing it from that area or resource, or lead to partitioning of resources between the species, spatially or temporally, for coexistence (Begon et al. 1986, Gause 1934).
Roth, T. L., Howard, J. G., Donoghue, A. M., Swanson, W. F., & Wildt, D. E. (1994). Function and culture requirements of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) spermatozoa in vitro. J Reprod Fertil, 101(3), 563–569.
Abstract: Electroejaculates from eight snow leopards were used to determine how the motility of spermatozoa was influenced by (i) type of media (Ham's F10, PBS, human tubal fluid or RPMI-1640); (ii) holding temperature (23 degrees C versus 37 degrees C); (iii) washing of spermatozoa and (iv) a sperm metabolic enhancer, pentoxifylline. The duration of sperm motility was assessed by evaluating samples in each treatment every hour for 6 h and a sperm motility index (a value combining percentage sperm motility and rate of forward progression) calculated. Spermatozoa from the Ham's F10, PBS and PBS plus pentoxifylline treatments were also co-incubated with zona-intact, domestic cat eggs that were fixed and evaluated for spermatozoa bound to the zona pellucida, penetrating the outer and inner layers of the zona pellucida and within the perivitelline space. During the 6 h co-incubation, the sperm motility index in PBS with pentoxifylline was greater (P < 0.05) than in PBS alone which, in turn, was greater (P < 0.05) than in the other three test media. Washing the spermatozoa enhanced (P < 0.05) motility in both PBS and PBS plus pentoxifylline relative to unwashed samples, but there was no effect (P > 0.05) of holding temperature. Pentoxifylline supplementation enhanced (P < 0.05) the proportion of cat eggs with bound, but not penetrated, snow leopard spermatozoa in the inner layer of the zona pellucida, and there were no spermatozoa in the perivitelline space.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Rovero, F., Augugliaro, C., Havmoller, R. W., Groff, C., Zimmerman, F., Oberosler, V., Tenan, S. (2018). Co-occurrence of snow leopard Panthera uncia, Siberian ibex Capra sibirica and livestock: potential relationships and effects. Oryx, , 1–7.
Abstract: Understanding the impact of livestock on native
wildlife is of increasing conservation relevance. For the
Vulnerable snow leopard Panthera uncia, wild prey reduction,
intensifying human�wildlife conflicts and retaliatory
killings are severe threats potentially exacerbated by the
presence of livestock. Elucidating patterns of co-occurrence
of snow leopards, wild ungulate prey, and livestock, can be
used to assess the compatibility of pastoralism with conservation.
We used camera trapping to study the interactions of
livestock, Siberian ibex Capra sibirica and snow leopards in
a national park in the Altai mountains, Mongolia. We obtained
 detections of wild mammals and  of domestic
ungulates, dogs and humans. Snow leopards and Siberian
ibex were recorded  and  times, respectively. Co-occurrence
modelling showed that livestock had a higher estimated
occupancy (.) than ibex, whose occupancy was
lower in the presence of livestock (.) than in its absence
(.�. depending on scenarios modelled). Snow leopard
occupancy did not appear to be affected by the presence of
livestock or ibex but the robustness of such inference was
limited by uncertainty around the estimates. Although our
sampling at presumed snow leopard passing sites may have
led to fewer ibex detections, results indicate that livestock
may displace wild ungulates, but may not directly affect
the occurrence of snow leopards. Snow leopards could still
be threatened by livestock, as overstocking can trigger
human�carnivore conflicts and hamper the conservation
of large carnivores. Further research is needed to assess
the generality and strength of our results.
Shrestha, A., Thapa, K., Subba, S. A., Dhakal, M., Devkota, B. P., Thapa, G. J., Shrestha, S., Malla, S., Thapa, K. (2019). Cats, canines, and coexistence: dietary differentiation between the sympatric Snow Leopard and Grey Wolf in the western landscape of Nepal Himalaya. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 11(7), 13815–13821.
Abstract: Understanding the dietary habits of sympatric apex carnivores advances our knowledge of ecological processes and aids their conservation. We compared the diets of the sympatric Snow Leopard Panthera uncia and Grey Wolf Canis lupus using standard micro-histological analyses of scats collected from the western complex of Nepal Himalaya. Our study revealed one of the highest recorded contributions of livestock to the diet of top predators (55% for Grey Wolf and 39% for Snow Leopard) and high dietary overlap (0.82) indicating potential exploitative or interference competition. Their diet composition, however, varied significantly based on their consumption of wild and domestic prey. Limitation in data precludes predicting direction and outcome of inter-specific interactions between these predators. Our findings suggest a high rate of negative interaction with humans in the region and plausibly retaliatory killings of these imperilled predators. To ensure the sustained survival of these two apex carnivores, conservation measures should enhance populations of their wild prey species while reducing livestock losses of the local community through preventive and mitigative interventions.