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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.
Bagchi, S., Mishra, C., & Bhatnagar, Y. (2004). Conflicts between traditional pastoralism and conservation of Himalayan ibex (Capra sibirica) in the Trans-Himalayan mountains. Animal Conservation, 7, 121–128.
Abstract: There is recent evidence to suggest that domestic livestock deplete the density and diversity of wild herbivores in the cold deserts of the Trans-Himalaya by imposing resource limitations. To ascertain the degree and nature of threats faced by Himalayan ibex (Capra sibirica) from seven livestock species, we studied their resource use patterns over space, habitat and food dimensions in the pastures of Pin Valley National Park in the Spiti region of the Indian Himalaya. Species diet profiles were obtained by direct observations. We assessed the similarity in habitat use and diets of ibex and livestock using Non-Metric Multidimensional Scaling. We estimated the influence of the spatial distribution of livestock on habitat and diet choice of ibex by examining their co-occurrence patterns in cells overlaid on the pastures. The observed co-occurrence of ibex and livestock in cells was compared with null-models generated through Monte Carlo simulations. The results suggest that goats and sheep impose resource limitations on ibex and exclude them from certain pastures. In the remaining suitable habitat, ibex share forage with horses. Ibex remained relatively unaffected by other livestock such as yaks, donkeys and cattle. However, most livestock removed large amounts of forage from the pastures (nearly 250 kg of dry matter/day by certain species), thereby reducing forage availability for ibex. Pertinent conservation issues are discussed in the light of multiple-use of parks and current socio-economic transitions in the region, which call for integrating social and ecological feedback into management planning.
Klubnikin, K., Annett, C., Cherkasova, M., Shishin, M., & Fotieva, I. (2000). The sacred and the scientific: Traditional ecological knowledge in Siberian River conservation. Ecological-Applications., 10(5), 1296–1306.
Abstract: The Katun River originates in the steppe of the Altai Mountains in Siberia. One of the major headwaters of the Ob River, the Katun is considered central to the culture of the indigenous Altaians. The Katun Valley contains large numbers of important cultural sites, dating from the Neolithic and representing some of the earliest human settlement in Russia. Modern-day Altaians still observe traditional ceremonies honoring the river and springs throughout the watershed and utilize traditional ecological knowledge in their management of the land and water resources. Russian and international scientists have identified the Altai Mountains as a region of high plant diversity and endemism, and as important habitat for endangered species such as the snow leopard. The Katun River itself contains species of threatened and endangered fishes, and its headwaters are part of the unusual Mongolian ichthyofaunal province that is characterized by high levels of endemism. The same regions are considered by the Altaian people to be special or sacred and are recognized by Western scientists as having great value for conservation. During the era of perestroika, a hydroelectric dam was to be built on the Katun. The large dam, a vestige of the earlier Soviet plan for the Project of the Century, would have devastated significant agricultural, ecological, recreational, and cultural resources. The indigenous Altaian people would have lost much of their sacred and cultural landscape. The Katun dam project united indigenous people, well-known Siberian writers, and scientists in protest, which became so heated that it engaged the international community, with lasting effects on Russian society. The magnitude of the protest illustrates the importance of the Altai Mountain region to all of Russia. The active participation of indigenous Altaians reflected their traditional willingness to take action against political decisions that negatively impacted the environmental, cultural, and religious values of their homeland. Their involvement also reflected the new wave of awareness under perestroika that underscored a greater respect and autonomy for indigenous peoples in Russia.
Li, J., Yin, H., Wang, D., Jiagong, Z., Lu, Zhi. (2013). Human-snow leopard conflicts in the Sanjiangyuan Region of the Tibetan Plateau. Biological Conservs, (166), 118–123.
Abstract: Conflicts between humans and snow leopards are documented across much of their overlapping distribution
in Central Asia. These conflicts manifest themselves primarily in the form of livestock depredation
and the killing of snow leopards by local herders. This source of mortality to snow leopards is a key conservation concern. To investigate human-snow leopard conflicts in the Sanjiangyuan Region of the Tibetan Plateau, we conducted household interviews about local herders’ traditional use of snow leopard
parts, livestock depredation, and overall attitudes towards snow leopards. We found most respondents
(58%) knew that snow leopard parts had been used for traditional customs in the past, but they claimed
not in the past two or three decades. It may be partly due to the issuing of the Protection of Wildlife Law
in 1998 by the People’s Republic of China. Total livestock losses were damaging (US$ 6193 per household
in the past 1 year), however snow leopards were blamed by herders for only a small proportion of those
losses (10%), as compared to wolves (45%) and disease (42%). Correspondingly, the cultural images of
snow leopards were neutral (78%) and positive (9%) on the whole. It seems that human-snow leopard
conflict is not intense in this area. However, snow leopards could be implicated by the retaliatory killing
of wolves. We recommend a multi-pronged conservation program that includes compensation, insurance
programs, and training local veterinarians to reduce livestock losses.
The Snow Leopard Conservancy. (2002). A Learning Tour of the CBN (Corbett, Nainital and Binsar) Eco-tourism Initiative Sites by Villagers from Hemis National Park and the Surrounding Area (18-28th November 2002) (R. Wangchuk, & J. Dadul, Eds.) (Vol. SLC Field Document Series No 5). Leh, Ladakh, India.
Abstract: Ladakh lies between the Great Himalayas and the formidable Karakoram mountains.
Its unique landscape and rich cultural heritage have been a great attraction to tourists all over
the world. Apart from its uniqueness it has a rich Trans-Himalayan bio-diversity and is home
to the rare and elusive snow leopard. It opened to tourism in 1974 with a handful of tourists
and has gone up to the present number of about 18,000 visitors annually. Ecotourism started in Ladakh in mid 80s in the form of conservation of traditional
architecture when local communities realized the importance of their rich culture and
traditions being valued by the visiting tourists. However, while tourism became a major
source of income to people in Leh, most of the benefits stayed with outside (Delhi) based
travel agents thus leaving out the rural masses. During the last three years Snow Leopard Conservancy and The Mountain Institute have been
initiating ecotourism activities with local communities in the Hemis National Park as an
alternate livelihood and an indirect way to compensate losses of livestock from predatory
animals. However, local people while venturing into such new initiatives have tended to be
like blind men that are being led by NGO's so that they do not stumble along their paths.