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Alexander, J. S., Shi, K., Tallents, L. A., Riordan, P. (2015). On the high trail: examining determinants of site use by the Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia in Qilianshan, China. Oryx, (Fauna & Flora International), 1–8.
Abstract: Abstract There is a need for simple and robust techniques for assessment and monitoring of populations of the Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia to inform the de- velopment of action plans for snow leopard conservation. We explored the use of occupancy modelling to evaluate the influence of environmental and anthropogenic features on snow leopard site-use patterns. We conducted a camera trap survey across  km in Gansu Province, China, and used data from  camera traps to estimate probabilities of site use and detection using the single season occupancy model. We assessed the influence of three covariates on site use by snow leopards: elevation, the presence of blue sheep Pseudois nayaur and the presence of human disturb- ance (distance to roads). We recorded  captures of snow leopards over , trap-days, representing a mean capture success of . captures per  trap-days. Elevation had the strongest influence on site use, with the probability of site use increasing with altitude, whereas the influence of presence of prey and distance to roads was relatively weak. Our findings indicate the need for practical and robust tech- niques to appraise determinants of site use by snow leo- pards, especially in the context of the limited resources available for such work.
Keywords: Camera Trap, China, Detection Probability, Occupancy Modelling, Panthera Uncia, Site use, Snow Leopard
Alexander, J. S., Zhang, C., Shi, K., Riordan, P. (2016). A spotlight on snow leopard conservation in China. Integrative Zoology, (11).
Abstract: China holds the greatest proportion of the snow leopard’s (Panthera uncia) global range and is central to their conservation. The country is also undergoing unprecedented economic growth, which increases both the threats to the snow leopard and the opportunities for its conservation. In this paper we aim to review published literature (from 1950 to 2014) in English and Mandarin on snow leopard ecology and conservation in China in order to identify thematic and geographic research gaps and propose research priorities. We first retrieved all publish items that considered snow leopards in China (n = 106). We extracted from these papers 274 reports of snow leopard presence in China. We then reviewed a subset of papers (n = 33) of this literature, which specifically focused on snow leopard ecology and conservation within China. We introduced a thematic framework that allows a structured and comprehensive assessment of findings. This framework recognizes 4 critical and interrelated topics underpinning snow leopard ecology and conservation: habitat (distribution and protected area coverage); prey (distribution and abundance, predator–prey relationships); human interactions (hunting and trade, livestock interactions and conflicts); and the underlying policy context. Significant gains in knowledge as well as research gaps and priorities are discussed with reference to our framework. The modest quantity and limited scope of published research on the snow leopard in China calls for a continued and intensified effort to inform and support national conservation policies.
Aruge, S., Batool, H., Khan, F. M., Abbas, F. I., Janjua, S. (2019). A pilot study�genetic diversity and population structure of snow leopards of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, using molecular techniques. PeerJ, (7672), 1–14.
Abstract: Background: The Hindu Kush and Karakoram mountain ranges in Pakistan�s northern areas are a natural habitat of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia syn. Uncia uncia) but the ecological studies on this animal are scarce since it is human shy by nature and lives in dif!cult mountainous tracts. The pilot study is conducted to exploit the genetic diversity and population structure of the snow leopard in this selected natural habitat of the member of the wildcat family in Pakistan.
Method: About 50 putative scat samples of snow leopard from !ve localities of Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistan) along with a control sample of zoo maintained male snow leopard were collected for comparison. Signi!cant quality and quantity of genomic DNA was extracted from scat samples using combined Zhang�phenol�chloroform method and successful ampli!cation of cytochrome c oxidase I gene (190 bp) using mini-barcode primers, seven simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers and Y-linked AMELY gene (200 bp) was done.
Results: Cytochrome c oxidase I gene sequencing suggested that 33/50 (66%) scat samples were of snow leopard. AMELY primer suggested that out of 33 ampli!ed samples, 21 (63.63%) scats were from male and 12 (36.36%) from female leopards. Through successful ampli!cation of DNA of 25 out of 33 (75.75%) scat samples using SSR markers, a total of 68 alleles on seven SSR loci were identi!ed, showing low heterozygosity, while high gene "ow between population.
Discussion: The low gene flow rate among the population results in low genetic diversity causing decreased diversi!cation. This affects the adaptability to climatic changes, thus ultimately resulting in decreased population size of the species.
Atzeni, L., Cushman, S. A., Bai, D., Wang, J., Chen, P., Shi,
K., Riordan, P. (2020). Meta-replication, sampling bias, and multi-scale model selection:
A case study on snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in western China. Ecology and Evolution, , 1–27.
Abstract: Replicated multiple scale species distribution models (SDMs)
have become increasingly important to identify the correct variables
determining species distribution and their influences on ecological
responses. This study explores multi-scale habitat relationships of the
snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in two study areas on the Qinghai–Tibetan
Plateau of western China. Our primary objectives were to evaluate the
degree to which snow leopard habitat relationships, expressed by
predictors, scales of response, and magnitude of effects, were
consistent across study areas or locally landcape-specific. We coupled
univariate scale optimization and the maximum entropy algorithm to
produce multivariate SDMs, inferring the relative suitability for the
species by ensembling top performing models. We optimized the SDMs based
on average omission rate across the top models and ensembles’ overlap
with a simulated reference model. Comparison of SDMs in the two study
areas highlighted landscape-specific responses to limiting factors.
These were dependent on the effects of the hydrological network,
anthropogenic features, topographic complexity, and the heterogeneity of
the landcover patch mosaic. Overall, even accounting for specific local
differences, we found general landscape attributes associated with snow
leopard ecological requirements, consisting of a positive association
with uplands and ridges, aggregated low-contrast landscapes, and large
extents of grassy and herbaceous vegetation. As a means to evaluate the
performance of two bias correction methods, we explored their effects on
three datasets showing a range of bias intensities. The performance of
corrections depends on the bias intensity; however, density kernels
offered a reliable correction strategy under all circumstances. This
study reveals the multi-scale response of snow leopards to environmental
attributes and confirms the role of meta-replicated study designs for
the identification of spatially varying limiting factors. Furthermore,
this study makes important contributions to the ongoing discussion about
the best approaches for sampling bias correction.
Keywords: MaxEnt, meta-replication, multi-scale, Panthera uncia, sampling bias, scale selection, snow leopard, species distribution model
Bischof, R., Hameed, S., Ali, H., Kabir, M., Younas, M., Shah, K. A., Din, J. U., Nawaz, M. A. (2013). Using time-to-event analysis to complement hierarchical methods when assessing determinants of photographic detectability during camera trapping. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, .
Abstract: 1. Camera trapping, paired with analytical methods for estimating occupancy, abundance and other ecological parameters, can yield information with direct consequences for wildlife management and conservation. Although ecological information is the primary target of most camera trap studies, detectability influences every aspect from design to interpretation.
2. Concepts and methods of time-toevent analysis are directly applicable to camera trapping, yet this statistical field has thus far been ignored as a way to analyze photographic capture data. to illustrate the use to time-to-event statistics and to better understand how photographic evidence accumulates, we explored patterns in tow related measure of detectability: Detection probability and time to detection. We analyzed camera trap data for three sympatric carnivores ( snow Leopard, red fox and stone marten) in the mountains of northern Pakistan and tested predictions about patterns in detectability across species, sites and time.
3. We found species-specific differences in the magnitude of detectability and the factors influencing it, reinforcing the need to consider determinants of detectability in study design and to account for them during analysis. Photographic detectability of snow leopard was noticeably lower than that of red fox, but comparable to detectability of stone marten. Site-specific attributes such as the presence of carnivore sign ( snow Leopard), terrain ( snow leopard and red fox) and application for lures ( red fox) influenced detectability. For the most part, detection probability was constant over time.
4. Species- specific differences in factors determining detectability make camera trap studies targeting multiple species particularly vulnerable to misinterpretation if the hierarchical origin of the data is ignored. Investigators should consider not only the magnitude of detectability, but also the shape of the curve describing the cumulative process of photographic detection, as this has consequences for both determining survey effort and the election of analytical models. Weighted time-to -event analysis can complement occupancy analysis and other hierarchal methods by providing additional tools for exploring camera trap data and testing hypotheses regarding the temporal aspect of photographic evidence accumulation.
Keywords: Cox proportional hazards model, cumulative incidence, Martes foina, Panthera Uncia, survival anaalysis, Vulpes Vulpes, weighted observations
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|Blomqvist, L. (1982). The 1981 annual report of the captive snow leopards (Panthera uncia) population. International Pedigree Book of Snow Leopards, 3.|