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Kalashnikova, Y. A., Karnaukhov, A. S., Dubinin, M. Y., Poyarkov, A. D., Rozhnov, V. V. (2019). POTENTIAL HABITAT OF SNOW LEOPARD (PANTHERA UNCIA, FELINAE) IN SOUTH SIBERIA AND ADJACENT TERRITORIES BASED ON THE MAXIMUM ENTROPY DISTRIBUTION MODEL.98(3), 332–342.
Abstract: The snow leopard is an endangered large felid inhabiting highlands of 12 Asian countries. It is distributed
across vast territories and adequate modern methods are required for mapping its potential habitats. The goal
of the present study is to create a model of snow leopard potential habitat within the northern part of its range
in Russia (and adjacent territories of Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan). More than 5 years of observations
(total number of presence points = 449), environmental variables and the maximum entropy distribution
method (Maxent) are used. The resulting map demonstrates that a suitable habitat (probability of the animal�s
presence between 0.5 and 1) of the northern population of snow leopard in Russia occupies 16500 km2
with a buffer of transient territories (probability between 0.25 and 0.49) covering 32800 km2. Most of a suitable
habitat within the study area is associated with the Altai Mountains, Western Sayan Mountains, Sangilen
Plateau, Tsagan-Shibetu and Shapshal. One third of the suitable habitat lies within areas of a varying protection
status. The results of modeling are of importance both for scientists and conservation managers, as they
allow for leopard occurrence to be predicted, supporting research on and the conservation of the species.