New Article to the Bibliography

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

Title: First photographic record of the snow leopard Panthera uncia in Kishtwar High Altitude National Park, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Author: Sanyal, O., Bashir, T., Rana, M., Chandan, P.

Abstract: The snow leopard Panthera uncia is categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. It is the least well-known of the large felids because of its shy and elusive nature and the inaccessible terrain it inhabits across the mountains of Central and South Asia. We report the first photographic record of the snow leopard in Kishtwar High Altitude National Park, India. During our camera-trapping surveys, conducted using a grid-based design, we obtained eight photographs of snow leopards, the first at 3,280 m altitude on 19 September 2022 and subsequent photographs over 3,004-3,878 m altitude. We identified at least four different individuals, establishing the species’ occurrence in Kiyar, Nanth and Renai catchments, with a capture rate of 0.123 ± SE 0.072 captures/100 trap-nights. ghts. We also recorded the presence of snow leopard prey species, including the Siberian ibex Capra sibirica, Himalayan musk deer Moschus leucogaster, long-tailed marmot Marmota caudata and pika Oc
hotona sp., identifying the area as potential snow leopard habitat. Given the location of Kishtwar High Altitude National Park, this record is significant for the overall snow leopard conservation landscape in India. We recommend a comprehensive study across the Kishtwar landscape to assess the occupancy, abundance, demography and movement patterns of the snow leopard and its prey. In addition, interactions between the snow leopard and pastoral communities should be assessed to understand the challenges facing the conservation and management of this important high-altitude region.

URL: https://snowleopardnetwork.org/b/show.php?record=1750

New Article to the Bibliography

 

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

Title: Genetic Variation in the Pallas’s Cat (Otocolobus manul) in Zoo-Managed and Wild Populations

Author: Robinson, J. J., Crichlow, A. D., Hacker, C. E., Munkhtsog, B., Munkhtsog, B., Zhang, Y., Swanson, W. F., Lyons, L. A., Janecka, J. E.

Abstract: The Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul) is one of the most understudied taxa in the Felidae family. The species is currently assessed as being of “Least Concern” in the IUCN Red List, but this assessment is based on incomplete data. Additional ecological and genetic information is necessary for the long-term in situ and ex situ conservation of this species. We identified 29 microsatellite loci with sufficient diversity to enable studies into the individual identification, population structure, and phylogeography of Pallas’s cats. These microsatellites were genotyped on six wild Pallas’s cats from the Tibet Autonomous Region and Mongolia and ten cats from a United States zoo-managed population that originated in Russia and Mongolia. Additionally, we examined diversity in a 91 bp segment of the mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA (MT-RNR1) locus and a hypoxia-related gene, endothelial PAS domain protein 1 (EPAS1). Based on the microsatellite and MT-RNR1 loci, we established that the Pallas’s cat displays moderate genetic diversity. Intriguingly, we found that the Pallas’s cats had one unique nonsynonymous substitution in EPAS1 not present in snow leopards (Panthera uncia) or domestic cats (Felis catus). The analysis of the zoo-managed population indicated reduced genetic diversity compared to wild individuals. The genetic information from this study is a valuable resource for future research into and the conservation of the Pallas’s cat.

URL: https://snowleopardnetwork.org/b/show.php?record=1749

New Article to the Bibliography

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

Title: Predicting and reducing potential parasite infection between migratory livestock and resident Asiatic ibex of Pin valley, India

Author: Khanyari, M., Oyanedel, R., Khara, A., Sharma, M., Milner-Gulland, E. J., Suryawanshi, K. R., Vineer, H. R., Morgan, E. R.

Abstract: Disease cross-transmission between wild and domestic ungulates can negatively impact livelihoods and wildlife conservation. In Pin valley, migratory sheep and goats share pastures seasonally with the resident Asiatic ibex (Capra sibirica), leading to potential disease cross-transmission. Focussing on gastro-intestinal nematodes (GINs) as determinants of health in ungulates, we hypothesized that infection on pastures would increase over summer from contamination by migrating livestock. Consequently, interventions in livestock that are well-timed should reduce infection pressure for ibex. Using a parasite life-cycle model, that predicts infective larval availability, we investigated GIN transmission dynamics and evaluated potential interventions. Migratory livestock were predicted to contribute most infective larvae onto shared pastures due to higher density and parasite levels, driving infections in both livestock and ibex. The model predicted a c.30-day anti- parasitic i
ntervention towards the end of the livestock’s time in Pin would be most effective at reducing GINs in both hosts. Albeit with the caveats of not being able to provide evidence of interspecific parasite trans- mission due to the inability to identify parasite species, this case demonstrates the usefulness of our predictive model for investigating parasite transmission in landscapes where domestic and wild ungulates share pastures. Additionally, it suggests management options for further investigation.

URL:  https://snowleopardnetwork.org/b/show.php?record=1748

 

New Article to the Bibliography

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

Title: Can livestock grazing dampen density-dependent fluctuations in wild herbivore populations?

Author: Sharma, M., Khanyari, M., Khara, A., Bijoor, A., Mishra, C., Suryawanshi, K. R.

Abstract: 1. Conservation policy for the high mountains of Asia increasingly recognises the need to encompass large multi-use landscapes beyond the protected area network. Due to limited long-term research in this region, our understanding of even fundamental processes, such as factors regulating large mammal populations is poor.
2. Understanding the factors that regulate animal populations, especially those generating cyclicity, is a long-standing problem in ecology. Long-term research across multiple taxa (mainly from Europe and North America) has focussed on the relative roles of food and predation in generating cyclicity in population dynamics. It remains unclear how trophic interactions that are influenced by anthropogenic stressors can affect population dynamics in human-modified landscapes.
3. We present a 10-year study to compare the effects of livestock grazing on density-dependent dynamics in two populations of bharal, Pseudois nayaur, in the Himalayas. We combine this with a mechanistic understanding of whether density dependence in these two sites acts predominantly by affecting adult survival or recruitment. We compared and quantified density dependence in the bharal population by fitting Bayesian Gompertz state-space models.
4. We found evidence for negative density dependence which indicates possible cyclic dynamics in the bharal population of the site (Tabo) with low livestock density. The population dynamics of this site were driven by recruited offspring—with a 2-year density-dependent lag effect—rather than adult survival. In the site with high livestock density (Kibber), this density dependence was not detected. We postulate the potential role of excessive grazing by livestock in affecting offspring recruitment, thereby affecting the bharal population in Kibber.
5. Synthesis and applications: Our results suggest that conservation action to facilitate wild herbivore population recovery, such as the development of protected areas and village reserves, needs to account for density-dependent regulation. Sites with trophy hunting require continuous monitoring to understand the effects of density dependence so that appropriate hunting quotas can be formulated.

URL: https://snowleopardnetwork.org/b/show.php?record=1747

New Article to the Bibliography

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

Title: A framework for understanding the contributions of local residents to protected area law enforcement

Author: Sharkey, W., Milner-Gulland, E. J., Sinovas, P., Keane, A.

Abstract: Terrestrial and marine protected areas have long been championed as an approach to biodiversity conservation. For protected areas to be effective, equitable and inclusive, the involvement of local residents in their management and governance is considered important. Globally, there are many approaches to involving local residents in protected area law enforcement. However, opportunities for comparing different approaches have been limited by the lack of a clear common framework for analysis. To support a more holistic understanding, we present a framework for analysing the contributions of local residents to protected area law enforcement. Informed by a review of the literature and discussions with conservation practitioners, the framework comprises five key dimensions: (1) the different points in the enforcement system at which local residents are involved, (2) the nature of local participation in decision-making, (3) the type of external support provided to local resid
ents, (4) the different motivating forces for participation, and (5) the extent to which local participation is formalized. We apply the framework to three real-world case studies to demonstrate its use in analysing and comparing the characteristics of different approaches. We suggest this framework could be used to examine variation in local participation within the enforcement system, inform evaluation and frame constructive discussions between relevant stakeholders. With the global coverage of protected areas likely to increase, the framework provides a foundation for better understanding the contributions of local residents to protected area law enforcement.

URL: https://snowleopardnetwork.org/b/show.php?record=1746

 

New Article to the Bibliography

 

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

Title: Reflecting on the role of human-felid conflict and local use in big cat trade

Author: Arias, M., Coals, P., Ardiantiono, Elves-Powell, J., Rizzolo, J. B., Ghoddousi, A., Boron, V., da Silva, M., Naude, V., Williams, V., Poudel, S., Loveridge, A., Payan, E., Suryawanshi, K., Dickman, A.

Abstract: Illegal trade in big cat (Panthera spp.) body parts is a prominent topic in scientific and public discourses concerning wildlife conservation. While illegal trade is generally acknowledged as a threat to big cat species, we suggest that two enabling factors have, to date, been under-considered. To that end, we discuss the roles of human-felid conflict, and “local” use in illegal trade in big cat body parts. Drawing examples from across species and regions, we look at generalities, contextual subtleties, ambiguities, and definitional complexities. We caution against underestimating the extent of “local” use of big cats and highlight the potential of conflict killings to supply body parts.

URL: https://snowleopardnetwork.org/b/show.php?record=1745

New Article to the Bibliography

 

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

Title: Co-designing conservation interventions through participatory action research in the Indian Trans-Himalaya

Author: Khanyari, M., Dorjay, R., Lobzang, S. Bijoor, A., Suryawanshi, K.

Abstract: 1. Community-based conservation, despite being more inclusive than fortress con- servation, has been criticized for being a top-down implementation of external ideas brought to local communities for conservation’s benefit. This is particularly true for Changpas, the pastoral people of Changthang in trans-Himalayan India who live alongside unique wildlife.
2. Our main aim was to co-design conservation interventions through participatory action research. We worked with two Changpa communities, to understand the issues faced by them. Subsequently, we co-designed context-sensitive interventions to facilitate positive human–nature interactions. We did so by integrating the PARTNERS (Presence, Aptness, Respect, Transparency, Empathy, Responsiveness, Strategic Support) principles with the Trinity of Voice (Access, Standing and Influence).
3. In Rupsho, we facilitated focus group discussions (FGDs) led by the community. We found livestock depredation by wildlife was primarily facilitated by the weather. This led to co-designing of a new corral design, which was piloted with seven households, safeguarding 2385 pashmina goats and sheep. Approximating the value of each sheep/goat to be USD125, this intervention amounts to a significant economic protection of USD c. 42,500 for each household. This is along with intangible gains of trust, ownership and improved self-esteem.
4. In Tegazong, a restricted area adjoining the Indo-China border with no previous research records, we worked with 43 Changpa people to co-create research questions of mutual interest. Wildlife presence and reasons for livestock loss were identified as areas of mutual interest. The herders suggested they would record data in a form of their choice, for 6 months, while they live in their winter pastures. This participatory community monitoring revealed nutrition and hypothermia to be a key cause of livestock death. Subsequently, we delimited two previously untested interventions: lamb cribs and provisioning of locally sourced barley as a feed supplement. The wildlife monitoring recorded the first record of Tibetan Gazelle Procapra picticuadata, outside of their known distribution, in Tegazong.
5. We aim to highlight the benefits of co-designing projects with local communities that link research and conservation, while also discussing the challenges faced. Ultimately, such projects are needed to ensure ethical knowledge generation and conservation, which aims to be decolonial and inclusive.

URL: https://snowleopardnetwork.org/b/show.php?record=1743

New Article to the Bibliography

 

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

Title: Natal dispersal and exploratory forays through atypical habitat in the mountain-bound snow leopard

Author: Johansson, O., Alexander, J. S., Lkhagvajav, P., Mishra, C., Samelius, G.

Abstract: Understanding how landscapes affect animal movements is key to effective conservation and management (Rudnick et al., 2012; Zeller et al., 2012). Movement defines animal home ranges, where animals generally access resources such as food and mates, and also their dispersal and exploratory forays. These movements are important for individual survival and fitness through genetic exchange within and between populations and for colonization of unoccupied habitats (Baguette et al., 2013; MacArthur & Wilson, 1967). Dispersal and exploratory movements typically occur when young animals leave their natal range and establish more permanent home ranges (Greenwood, 1980; Howard, 1960). In mammals, natal dispersal of males is usually more frequent and happens over greater distances compared with that of females (Clobert et al., 2001; Greenwood, 1980).

URL: https://snowleopardnetwork.org/b/show.php?record=1742

New Article to the Bibliography

 

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

Title: Applying a gender lens to biodiversity conservation in High Asia

Author: Alexander, J. S., Murali, R., Mijiddorj, T. N., Agvaantseren, B., Lhamo, C., Sharma, D., Suryawanshi, K. R., Zhi, L., Sharma, K., Young, J. C.

Abstract: Community-based conservation efforts represent an important approach to facilitate the coexistence of people and wildlife. A concern, however, is that these efforts build on existing community structures and social norms, which are commonly dominated by men. Some biodiversity conservation approaches may consequently neglect women’s voices and deepen existing inequalities and inequities. This paper presents two community case studies that draw upon the knowledge and experience gained in our snow leopard conservation practice in pastoral and agro-pastoral settings in Mongolia and India to better understand women’s roles and responsibilities. In these settings, roles and responsibilities in livestock management and agriculture are strongly differentiated along gender lines, and significant gaps remain in women’s decision-making power about natural resources at the community level. We argue that context-specific and gender-responsive approaches are needed to build comm
unity support for conservation actions and leverage women’s potential contributions to conservation outcomes.

URL: https://snowleopardnetwork.org/b/show.php?record=1741

New Article to the Bibliography

 

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

Title: Extreme in Every Way: Exceedingly Low Genetic Diversity in Snow Leopards Due to Persistently Small Population Size

Author: Solari, K. A., Morgan, S., Poyarkov, A. D., Weckworth, B., Samelius, G., Sharma, K., Ostrowski, S., Ramakrishnan, U., Kubanychbekov, Z., Kachel, S., Johansson, O., Lkhagvajav, P., Hemmingmoore, H., Alexandrov, D. Y., Bayaraa, M., Grachev, A., Korablev, M. P., Hernandez-Blanco, J. A., Munkhtsog, B., Rosenbaum, B., Rozhnov, V. V., Rajabi, A. M., Noori, H., Armstrong, E. E., Petrov, D. A.

Abstract: Snow leopards (Panthera uncia) serve as an umbrella species whose conservation benefits their high-elevation Asian habitat. Their numbers are believed to be in decline due to numerous Anthropogenic threats; however, their conservation is hindered by numerous knowledge gaps. They are the least studied genetically of all big cat species and little is known about their historic population size and range, current population trends, or connectivity across their range. Here, we use whole genome sequencing data for 41 snow leopards (37 newly sequenced) to assess population connectivity, historic population size, and current levels of genetic diversity. Among our samples, we find evidence of a primary genetic divide between the northern and southern part of the range around the Dzungarian Basin and a secondary divide south of Kyrgyzstan around the Taklamakan Desert. However, we find evidence of gene flow, suggesting that barriers between these groups are permeable. Perhaps most noteworthy, we find that snow leopards have the lowest genetic diversity of any big cat species, likely due to a persistently small population size throughout their evolutionary history. Without a large population size or ample standing genetic variation to help buffer them from any forthcoming Anthropogenic challenges, snow leopard persistence may be more tenuous than currently appreciated.

URL: https://snowleopardnetwork.org/b/show.php?record=1739