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Shehzad, W. M. C., Thomas Michael. Pompanon, Francois. Purejav, Lkhagvajav. Coissac, Eric. Riaz, Tiayyba. Taberlet, Pierre. (2012). Prey Preference of Snow Leopard (Panthera Uncia) in South Gobi, Mongolia. PLoS ONE, (Feb 2012).
Abstract: Accurate information about the diet of large carnivores that are elusive and inhabit inaccessible terrain, is required to properly design conservation strategies. Predation on livestock and retaliatory killing of predators have become serious issues throughout the range of the snow leopard. These techniques have inherent limitation in their ability to properly identify both snow leopard feces and prey taxa, To examine the frequency of livestock prey and and nearly-threatened argali in the diet of the snow leopard, we employed the recently developed DNA-based diet approach to study a snow leopard population located in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. After DNA was extracted from the feces, a region of ~100 bp long from mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene was amplified, making use of universal primers for vertebrates and a blocking oligonucleotide specific to snow leopard DNA. The amplicons were then sequenced using a next-generation sequencing platform. We observed a total of five different prey items from 81 fecal samples. Siberian ibex predominated the diet (in 70.4% of the feces), followed by domestic goat (17.3%) and argali sheep (8.6%). The major part of the diet was comprised of large ungulates (in 98.8% of the feces) including wild ungulates (79%) and domestic livestock (19.7%). The findings of the present study will help to understand the feeding ecology of the snow leopard, as well as to address the conservation and management issues pertaining to this wild cat.
Shah, K. B., Baral, H.S. (2012). Nepalma Hiun Chituwako Sankanshan.
Abstract: The Snow Leopard is protected by the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 in Nepal. Some grassroots' conservation measures have been initiated in the Protected Areas (PAs), including the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA). Although, some initiatives have been formulated by WWF-Nepal and ACA project, major threats to the species still exist throughout its known range in the country. In this regard, the book a Nepali book titled 'Nepalma Hiunchituwako Sanrakshan'[Conservation of the Snow Leopard in Nepal]with a firm belief that the threats to snow leopard and its habitats could be minimized with the light of education and conservation awareness to all stakeholders including the local villagers. The book contributes in the overall conservation of the species by creating conservation awareness, enhancing their knowledge on Snow Leopard, its prey species and its importance to the mountain ecosystem. In addition, it is hoped to help in strengthening economic well being of local people by linking the conservation of the species to eco-tourism. A total of 1000 copies were published and are in the process of free of charge distribution in all the Snow Leopard range within the country.
Paltsyn, M., Spitsyn, S.V., Kuksin, A. N., Istomov, S.V. (2012). Snow Leopard Conservation in Russia.
Abstract: This publication reviews potential actions for the long-term conservation of
snow leopards and their habitat in Russia in conditions of anthropogenic influence
and climate change in high elevation ecosystems. This edition is the result
of many years of research conducted in the framework of WWF’s “Ensuring the
long term protection of biodiversity in the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion” (1998-2011)
and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) financed by the Global
Environment Facility “Conservation of Biodiversity in the Russian portion Altai-
Sayan Ecoregion” (2005-2010).
The publication contains materials needed to prepare a Russian Snow Leopard
Conservation Strategy and was prepared for use by the Russian Ministry
of Natural Resources to develop comprehensive priority conservation measures
to protect this species. In addition, this publication is intended for protected
area specialists and staff at federal and regional government agencies
responsible for the conservation and monitoring of species listed in the
Russian Federation Red Book.
Reviewer: B. Munkhtsog, Candidate in Biological Sciences, staff scientist at
the Institute for Biology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, and president of the
Mongolian Snow Leopard Center.
Translation to English: J. Castner.
Forrest, J. L., Wikramanayake, E., Shrestha, R., Areendran, G., Gyeltshen, K., Maheshwari, A., Mazumdar, S., Naidoo, R., Thapa, G. J., Thapa, K. (2012). Conservation and climate change: Assessing the vulnerability of snow leopard habitat to treeline shift in the Himalaya. Biological Conservation, 150, 129–135.
Abstract: Climate change is likely to affect the persistence of large, space-requiring species through habitat shifts,
loss, and fragmentation. Anthropogenic land and resource use changes related to climate change can also
impact the survival of wildlife. Thus, climate change has to be integrated into biodiversity conservation
plans. We developed a hybrid approach to climate-adaptive conservation landscape planning for snow
leopards in the Himalayan Mountains. We first mapped current snow leopard habitat using a mechanistic
approach that incorporated field-based data, and then combined it with a climate impact model using a
correlative approach. For the latter, we used statistical methods to test hypotheses about climatic drivers
of treeline in the Himalaya and its potential response to climate change under three IPCC greenhouse gas
emissions scenarios. We then assessed how change in treeline might affect the distribution of snow leopard
habitat. Results indicate that about 30% of snow leopard habitat in the Himalaya may be lost due to a
shifting treeline and consequent shrinking of the alpine zone, mostly along the southern edge of the range
and in river valleys. But, a considerable amount of snow leopard habitat and linkages are likely to remain
resilient to climate change, and these should be secured. This is because, as the area of snow leopard habitat
fragments and shrinks, threats such as livestock grazing, retaliatory killing, and medicinal plant collection
can intensify. We propose this approach for landscape conservation planning for other species
with extensive spatial requirements that can also be umbrella species for overall biodiversity.
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Wegge, P., Shrestha, R., Flagstad, O. (2012). Snow leopard Panthera uncia predation on livestock and wild prey in a mountain valley in northern Nepal: implications for conservation management. Wildlife Biology, 18(10.2981/11-049), 131–141.
Abstract: The globally endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia is sparsely distributed throughout the rugged mountains in Asia.
Its habit of preying on livestock poses a main challenge to management. In the remote Phu valley in northern Nepal, we
obtained reliable information on livestock losses and estimated predator abundance and diet composition from DNA
analysis and prey remains in scats. The annual diet consisted of 42%livestock. Among the wild prey, bharal (blue sheep/
naur) Pseudois nayaur was by far the most common species (92%). Two independent abundance estimates suggested that
there were six snow leopards in the valley during the course of our study. On average, each snow leopard killed about one
livestock individual and two bharal permonth. Predation loss of livestock estimated fromprey remains in scats was 3.9%,
which was in concordance with village records (4.0%). From a total count of bharal, the only large natural prey in the area
and occurring at a density of 8.4 animals/km2 or about half the density of livestock, snow leopards were estimated to
harvest 15.1% of the population annually. This predation rate approaches the natural, inherent recruitment rate of this
species; in Phu the proportion of kids was estimated at 18.4%. High livestock losses have created a hostile attitude against
the snow leopard and mitigation measures are needed. Among innovative management schemes now being implemented
throughout the species’ range, compensation and insurance programmes coupled with other incentive measures are
encouraged, rather than measures to reduce the snow leopard’s access to livestock. In areas like the Phu valley, where the
natural prey base consists mainly of one ungulate species that is already heavily preyed upon, the latter approach, if
implemented, will lead to increased predation on this prey, which over time may suppress numbers of both prey and
Rosen, T. H., S. Mohammad, G. Jackson, R. Janecka, J, E. Michel, S. (2012). Reconciling Sustainable Development of Mountain Communities With Large Carnivore Conservation. Mountain Research and Development, (32(3)), 286–293.
Abstract: While the world is becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent, physically and culturally, the wildlife of remote mountain regions is being affected both positively and negatively by such interconnectedness. In the case of snow leopards, the conservation impact has been largely, and rather unexpectedly, positive: Species-focused conservation projects, such as Project Snow Leopard (PSL) in
Gilgit-Baltistan, remain mainly externally driven initiatives. PSL, initiated as a small pilot project in 1998, has relied on an approach that includes the use of an insurance scheme, the deployment of mitigation measures, and the empowerment of local governance. This approach has been successful in
reducing the conflict with snow leopards and has built greater tolerance toward them. PSL is managed by local communities and cofinanced by them. PSL communities throughout the region are bearing the burden of carnivore conservation, and they are unwittingly subsidizing their populations by ‘‘feeding’’
them their livestock even though they are an economic threat to them. In this article, we argue that external intervention in the form of efforts that help alleviate the consequences of conflict through local empowerment have had a positive impact on the local mountain societies. We also show that such interventions have resulted in tangible conservation results, with the number of snow leopards staying at least stable. Our experience also shows that while the incentive component is critical, it is also part of a larger approach—one that includes developing and supporting local governance structures, improving access to education, and offering a range of tools to reduce the conflict that can be implemented
locally. Finally, we suggest that investing in this approach— one that recognizes the species and local-context complexities surrounding the implementation of conservation incentives—can continue to inform international practices and guidelines for reducing human–wildlife conflicts worldwide.
Li, J. S., G, B. McCarthy, T. M. Wang, D. Jiagong, Z. Cai, P. Basang, L. Lu, Z. (2012). A Communal Sign Post of Snow Leopards (Panthera uncial) and Other Species on the Tibetan Plateau China. International Journal of Biodiversity, 2013, 1:8.
Abstract: The snow leopard is a keystone species in mountain ecosystems of Central Asia and the Tibetan Plateau, However, little is known about the interactions between snow leopards and sympatric carnivores. Using infrared cameras, we found a rocky junction of two valleys in Sanjiangyuan area on the Tibetan Plateau where many mammals in this area passed and frequently marked and sniffed the site at the junction. We suggest that this site serves as a sign post to many species in this area, especially snow leopards and other carnivores. The marked signs may also alert the animals passing by to temporally segregate their activities to avoid potential conflicts. We used the Schoener index to measure the degree of temporal segregation among the species captured by infrared camera traps at this site. Our research reveals the probable ways of both intra- and interspecies competition. This is an important message to help understand the structure of animal communities. Discovery of the sign post clarifies the importance of identifying key habitas ad sites of both snow leopards and other species for more effective conservation.
Jackson. R. (2012). Fostering Community-Based Stewardship of Wildlife in Central Asia: Transforming Snow Leopards from Pests into Valued Assets. In Springer Science and Business Media (pp. 357–380).
Abstract: Book Title: Rangeland Stewardship in Central Asia: Balancing Improved Livelihoods, Biodiversity Conservation and Land Protection, 2012. Edited by Victor Squires. Published Springer Science+Business Media. 458 p. 91 illus., 61 in color.
Addressing human–wildlife conflict is an important requisite to managing
rangelands for livestock and wildlife. Despite high altitudes, aridity, and relatively
low primary productivity, the rangelands of Central Asia support a rich and diverse
biodiversity—including the endangered snow leopard that many herders perceive
as a predator to be eliminated. Conserving this and other wildlife species requires
carefully crafted interventions aimed at curbing depredation losses and/or reducing
competition for forage, along with offering locally sustainable, environmentally
friendly income-generating activities for supplementing pastoral household livelihoods.
This is best achieved through a combination of incentives designed to foster
sound rangeland and wildlife stewardship, along penalties or disincentives targeting
herders who violate mutually agreed rules and regulations (including grazing norms
and wildlife disturbance or poaching).
When working toward the harmonious coexistence of people and wildlife,
conservationists and rangeland practitioners need to seek the cooperation and
build goodwill among herders and other stakeholders, including local government
and private industry (especially the livestock production, mining, and tourism
Maming, R. (2012). Market prices for the tissues and organs of snow leopards in China. Selevinia, (20), 119–122.
Abstract: The population of snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is plummeting as waterfall in
the last ten years. The illegal trade of snow leopard products is one of the fatal
factors. The biggest range and the biggest population of snow leopard both are in
China, and the largest trade is also in the country. Through questionnaires and
investigation with informants from 2002 to 2012, a lot of data were collected
through variety ways in different regions. In this paper 387 cases of snow leopard
poaching including smuggling routes, product list, price system and product usages
from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region were collected for analysis and discussion. In
the face of rapid development in the west of China, the results showed that our
government did not try to protect the snow leopards, and the text of law was
practically useless. International organizations such as WWF, WCS, IUCN, PANTHERA,
SLT & SLN with SLSS were also powerless and helpless to stop snow leopard poaching
and trading. As a result, the fate of the snow leopard is very bad, and this is
Ming, M., Munkhtsog, B., McCarthy, T., McCarthy, K. (2011). Monitor ing of Population Density of Snow Leopard in X injiang. Journal of Ecology and Rural Environment, 27(1), 79–83.
Abstract: The snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is a very rare species in China. The survey of traces of snow leopard in Kunlun, Altay and Tianshan is them a instep of the Project of Snow Leopard in X injiang supported by the International Snow Leopard Trust ( SLT) and the Xinjiang Conservation Fund (XCF). During the field survey from 2004 to 2010, the Xinjiang Snow Leopard Group ( XSLG) spent about 270 days in over 20 different places, covering over 150 transects totaling nearly 190 km, and found 1- 3 traces per kilometer. The traces of snow leopard recorded include dung, odor, chains of footprints, scraping, paw nail marks, lying mark, fur, urine, bloodstain, leftover of prey corpse, roaring and others. Based on tracer image analyses, the XSLG got to know primarily scopes of the domains, distribution and relative density of the snow leopard in these areas. Then the group began to take infrared photos, conducted survey of food sources of the leopards, investigated fur market and paths of trading, and cases of killing, and carry out civil survey through questionnaire, non government organization community service and research on conflicts between grazing and wild life protection. A total of 36 infrared came ras were laid out, working a total of about 2 094 days or 50 256 hours. A total 71 rolls of film were collected and developed, includ ing 32 clear pictures of snow leopards, thus making up a shooting rate or capture rate of 1.53%. It was ascertained that in Tomur Peak area, there were 5- 8 snow leopards roaming within a range of 250 km2, forming a population density of 2��0- 3��2 per 100 km2. After compar ing the various monitoring results, the advantages and limitations of different monitoring methods have been discussed.