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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.
Farrington, J. (2005). A Report on Protected Areas, Biodiversity, and Conservation in the Kyrgyzstan Tian Shan with Brief Notes on the Kyrgyzstan Pamir-Alai and the Tian Shan Mountains of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and China. Ph.D. thesis, , Kyrgyzstan.
Abstract: Kyrgyzstan is a land of towering mountains, glaciers, rushing streams, wildflowercovered meadows, forests, snow leopards, soaring eagles, and yurt-dwelling nomads. The entire nation lies astride the Tian Shan1, Chinese for “Heavenly Mountains”, one of the world's highest mountain ranges, which is 7439 m (24,400 ft) in elevation at its highest point. The nation is the second smallest of the former Soviet Central Asian republics. In
spite of Kyrgyzstan's diverse wildlife and stunning natural beauty, the nation remains little known, and, as yet, still on the frontier of international conservation efforts. The following report is the product of 12 months of research into the state of conservation and land-use in Kyrgyzstan. This effort was funded by the Fulbright Commission of the U.S. State Department, and represents the most recent findings of the author's personal environmental journey through Inner Asia, which began in 1999. When I first started my preliminary research for this project, I was extremely surprised to learn that, even though the Tian Shan Range has tremendous ecological significance for conservation efforts in middle Asia, there wasn't a single major international conservation organization with an office in the former Soviet Central Asian republics. Even more surprising was how little awareness there is of conservation issues in the Tian Shan region amongst conservation workers in neighboring areas who are attempting to preserve similar species assemblages and ecosystems to those found in the Tian Shan. Given this lack of awareness, and the great potential for the international community to make a positive contribution towards improving the current state of biodiversity conservation in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, I have summarized my findings on protected areas and conservation in Kyrgyzstan and the Tian Shan of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Xinjiang in the chapters below. The report begins with some brief background information on geography and society in the Kyrgyz Republic, followed by an overview of biodiversity and the state of conservation in the nation, which at the present time closely parallels the state of conservation in the other former Soviet Central Asian republics. Part IV of the report provides a catalog of all major protected areas in Kyrgyzstan and the other Tian Shan nations, followed by a list of sites in Kyrgyzstan that are as yet unprotected but merit protection. In the appendices the reader will find fairly comprehensive species lists of flora and fauna found in the Kyrgyz Republic, including lists of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, trees and shrubs, wildflowers, and endemic plants. In addition, a
draft paper on the history and current practice of pastoral nomadism in Kyrgyzstan has been included in Appendix A. While the research emphasis for this study was on eastern Kyrgyzstan, over the course of the study the author did have the opportunity to make brief journeys to southern Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Xinjiang. While falling short of being a definitive survey of protected areas of the Tian Shan, the informational review which
follows is the first attempt at bringing the details of conservation efforts throughout the entire Tian Shan Range together in one place. It is hoped that this summary of biodiversity and conservation in the Tian Shan will generate interest in the region amongst conservationists, and help increase efforts to protect this surprisingly unknown range that forms an island of meadows, rivers, lakes, and forests in the arid heart of Asia.
Johnson, W. E., Dratch, P. A., Martenson, J. S., & O'Brien, S. J. (1996). Resolution of recent radiations within three evolutionary lineages of Felidae using mitochondrial restriction fragment length polymorphism variation. Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 3(2), 97–120.
Abstract: Patterns of mitochondrial restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) variation were used to resolve more recent relationships among the species of the Felidae ocelot lineage, domestic cat lineage, and pantherine lineage. Twenty-five of 28 restriction enzymes revealed site variation in at least 1 of 21 cat species. The ocelot lineage was resolved into three separate sister taxa groups: Geoffroy's cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi) and kodkod (O. guigna), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and margay (L. wiedii), and pampas cat (Lynchailurus colocolo) and most of the tigrina samples (Leopardus tigrina). Within the domestic cat lineage, domestic cat (Felis catus), European wild cat (F. silvestris), and African wild cat (F. libyca) formed a monophyletic trichotomy, which was joined with sand cat (F. margarita) to a common ancestor. Jungle cat (F. chaus) and black-footed cat (F. nigripes) mtDNAs diverged earlier than those of the other domestic cat lineage species and are less closely related. Within the pantherine lineage, phylogenetic analysis identified two distinct groups, uniting lion (P. leo) with leopard (P. pardus) and tiger (P. tigris) with snow leopard (P. uncia).
Kazensky, C. A., Munson, L., & Seal, U. S. (1998). The effects of melengestrol acetate on the ovaries of captive wild felids. Journal-of-Zoo-and-Wildlife-Medicine, 29(1), 1–5.
Abstract: Melengestrol acetate (MGA) is the most widely used contraceptive in zoo felids, but the mechanism of contraception and the pathologic effects have not been investigated. For this study, the effects of MGA on folliculogenesis were assessed, and the association of MGA with ovarian lesions was evaluated. Comparisons were made among the histopathologic findings in the ovaries from 88 captive wild felids (representing 15 species) divided into three groups: 37 currently contracepted with MGA, eight previously exposed to MGA, and 43 never contracepted. Ninety-one percent of the felids evaluated had tertiary follicles, and no differences were noted between contracepted and uncontracepted cats. Some MGA-contracepted cats also had corpora lutea indicating recent ovulation. These results indicate that folliculogenesis is not suppressed by current doses of MGA and ovulation occurred in some cats. Therefore, the contraceptive actions of MGA do not occur by suppressing folliculogenesis, and MGA-contracepted felids likely have endogenous estrogens that may confound progestin effects on the uterus. Cystic rete ovarii was the most common pathologic finding, but they were not more prevalent in MGA-contracepted cats. These findings indicate that MGA is not associated with ovarian disease, including ovarian cancer, in contrast to the uterine lesions noted in MGA-treated cats.
Khan, A. (2004). Snow Leopard Occurrence in Mankial Valley, Swat: Final report.
Abstract: Mankial is a sub-valley of the Swat Kohistan. Temperate ecosystem of the valley is intact to a greater extent, which provides habitat to a variety of species of plants, animals and birds. Snow leopard is reported from the valley. To confirm its occurrence, the HUJRA (Holistic Understanding for Justified Research and Action), conducted the study titled “Snow Leopard Survey in Mankial Valley, district Swat, NWFP”. The author provided technical support, while ISLT (The International Snow Leopard Trust) funded the project under its small grants program. The World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) and the Mankial Community Organization (MCO) facilitated surveys under the project. Surveys revealed that Snow leopard visits parts of the Mankial valley in winter months. Information from the local community shows that Snow leopard remains in the Serai (an off-shoot of the Mankial Valley) from early winter to early spring. Intensive surveys of the prime snow leopard winter habitat in the valley found several snow leopard signs including pugmarks, feces, and scrapes. The study also found occurrence of prey species through indirect evidence though. However, information from the local community confirmed that in the recent past there was a good population of markhor in the valley, which is now reduced to less than 50, mostly due to hunting and habitat disturbance. Hunting is part of the local culture and lifestyle. During winter months hunting pressure is low, as most of the local community migrates to warmer plain areas than Mankial Valley. However, those who live in the area lop oak branches for feeding their livestock and cut trees for burning, in addition to hunting prey species of snow leopard. This has resulted in stunted oak vegetation in most of the lower reaches of the valley and decline of the markhor population.
Ming, M., Yun, G., & Bo, W. (2008). Chinese snow leopard team goes into action. Man & the Biosphere, 54(6), 18–25.
Abstract: China, the world's most populous country, also contains the largest number of Snow Leopards of any country in the world. But the survey and research of the snow leopard had been very little for the second half of the 20th century. Until recent years, the members of Xinjiang Snow Leopards Group (XSLG/SLT/XFC) , the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences have been tracking down the solitary animal. The journal reporter does a face-to-face interview with professor Ma Ming who is a main responsible expert of the survey team. By the account of such conversation, we learn the achievements, advances and difficulty of research of snow leopards in the field, Tianshan and Kunlun, Xinjiang, the far west China, and we also know that why the team adopt the infrared camera to capture the animals. Last but not least professor talked about the survival menace faced by the Snow Leopards in Xinjiang.
Mishra, C., Madhusudan, M. D., & Datta, A. (2006). Mammals of the high altitudes of western Arunachal Pradesh, eastern Himalaya: an assessment of threats and conservation needs (Vol. 40).
Abstract: The high altitudes of Arunachal Pradesh,India, located in the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, remain zoologically unexplored and unprotected. We report results of recent mammal surveys in the high altitude habitats of western Arunachal Pradesh. A total of 35 mammal species (including 12 carnivores, 10 ungulates and 5 primates) were recorded, of which 13 are categorized as Endangered or Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. One species of primate, the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala, is new to science and the Chinese goral Nemorhaedus caudatus is a new addition to the ungulate fauna of the Indian subcontinent. We documented peoples' dependence on natural resources for grazing and extraction of timber and medicinal plants. The region's mammals are threatened by widespread hunting. The snow leopard Uncia uncia and dhole Cuon alpinus are also persecuted in retaliation for livestock depredation. The tiger Panthera tigris, earlier reported from the lower valleys, is now apparently extinct there, and range reductions over the last two decades are reported for bharal Pseudois nayaur and musk deer Moschus sp.. Based on mammal species richness, extent of high altitude habitat, and levels of anthropogenic disturbance, we identified a potential site for the creation of Arunachal's first high altitude wildlife reserve (815 km2). Community-based efforts that provide incentives for conservation-friendly practices could work in this area, and conservation awareness programmes are required, not just amongst the local communities and schools but for politicians, bureaucrats and the army.
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.
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).