Publication Alert: New article added to the Bibliography

Please find details below, of a new article added to our Bibliography:

Title: The timing of breeding and independence for snow leopard females and their cubs.

Authors: Johansson, O., Ausilio, G., Low, M., Lkhagvajav, P., Weckworth, B., Sharma, K.

Abstract: Significant knowledge gaps persist on snow leopard demography and reproductive behavior. From a GPS-collared population in Mongolia, we estimated the timing of mating, parturition and independence. Based on three mother–cub pairs, we describe the separation phase of the cub from its mother as it gains independence. Snow leopards mated from January–March and gave birth from April–June. Cubs remained with their mother until their second winter (20–22 months of age) when cubs started showing movements away from their mother for days at a time. This initiation of independence appeared to coincide with their mother mating with the territorial male. Two female cubs remained in their mothers’ territory for several months after initial separation, whereas the male cub quickly dispersed. By comparing the relationship between body size and age of independence across 11 solitary, medium-to-large felid species, it was clear that snow leopards have a delayed timing of separation compared to other species. We suggest this may be related to their mating behavior and the difficulty of the habitat and prey capture for juvenile snow leopards. Our results, while limited, provide empirical estimates for understanding snow leopard ecology and for parameterizing population models.





Publication Alert – New Article to the Bibliography

Title: Ecosystem service dependence in livestock and crop-based production systems in Asia’s high mountains.

Authors: Murali,R., Ikhagvajav, P., Amankul, V., Jumabay, K., Sharma, K., Bhatnagar, Y. V., Suryawanshi, K., Mishra, C

Abstract:  Globally, in semi-arid and arid landscapes, there is an ongoing transition from livestock-production systems to crop-production systems, and in many parts of Asia’s arid mountains, mining for minerals is also increasing. These changes are accompanied by a change in the generation and quality of ecosystem services (ES), which can impact human well-being. In this study, to better understand the impacts of such transitions, we quantified ES in two crop-based and three livestock-based production systems in the arid and semi-arid landscapes of the High Himalaya and Central Asia, specifically in the Indian Himalaya, Kyrgyz Tien Shan, and Mongolian Altai. Our results showed 1) high economic dependence (3.6–38 times the respective annual household income) of local farmers on provisioning ES, with the economic value of ES being greater in livestock-production systems (7.4–38 times the annual household income) compared to crop-production systems (3.6–3.7 times the annual household income); 2) ES input into cashmere production, the main commodity from the livestock-production systems, was 13–18 times greater than the price of cashmere received by the farmer; and 3) in the livestock production systems affected by mining, impacts on ES and quality of life were reported to be negative by majority of the respondents. We conclude that livestock-based systems may be relatively more vulnerable to degrading impacts of mining and other ongoing developments due to their dependence on larger ES resource catchments that tend to have weaker land tenure and are prone to fragmentation. In contrast to the general assumption of low value of ES in arid and semi-arid landscapes due to relatively low primary productivity, our study underscores the remarkably high importance of ES in supporting local livelihoods.


SLN is inviting you to meet authors of new publications uploaded to the Snow Leopard Bibliography. These sessions are intended to allow members to discuss the subject matter of the paper with the author and other SLN members. Please join us for the first “Snow Leopard Conversation” Session with Dr. Ranjini Murali

Snow Leopard Conversations – Paper Discussion with Ranjini Murali on 22 June, 2020 at 12:30 pm IST

Please click on the link below to register: REGISTER 


Publication Alert – New Article to Bibliography

Title: Diachronic monitoring of snow leopards at Sarychat-Ertash State
Reserve (Kyrgyzstan) through scat genotyping: a pilot study

Authors: Rode, J., Pelletier, A., Fumey, J., Rode, S., Cabanat, A. L.,
Ouvrard, A., Chaix, B., White, B., Harnden, M., Xuan, N. T., Vereshagin,
A., Casane, D.

Abstract:Snow leopards (Panthera uncia) are a keystone species of
Central Asia’s high mountain ecosystem. The species is listed as
vulnerable and is elusive, preventing accurate population assessments
that could inform conservation actions. Non-invasive genetic monitoring
conducted by citizen scientists offers avenues to provide key data on
this species that would otherwise be inaccessible. From 2011 to 2015,
OSI-Panthera citizen science expeditions tracked signs of presence of
snow leopards along transects in the main valleys and crests of the
Sarychat-Ertash State Reserve (Kyrgyzstan). Scat samples were genotyped
at seven autosomal microsatellite loci and at a X/Y locus for sex
identification, which allowed estimating a minimum of 11 individuals
present in the reserve from 2011 to 2015. The genetic recapture of 7 of
these individuals enabled diachronic monitoring, providing indications
of individuals’ movements throughout the reserve. We found putative
family relationships between several individuals. Our results
demonstrate the potential of this citizen science program to get a
precise description of a snow leopard population through time.