From climate to carnivores: the transitions of a change

Major climatic changes have occurred on a number of occasions, with over 50 such changes taking place in the Pleistocene epoch alone. Each time climate change events have required ecological and behavioural adaptations to surviving plant and animal species, obliging them to seek refuge in suitable areas or cope with habitat modifications and alterations of local plant/animal communities. This can potentially lead to inter-species competition. Mountains are strongly seasonal habitats, which require special adaptations for wildlife species living on them.

Population dynamics of mountain ungulates are strongly influenced by the availability of rich food resources to sustain lactation and weaning during summer seasons. In turn, well fed juveniles will survive winter rigours more easily. In the case of an increase of temperature – such as in the current ongoing climatic change – plant phenology and nutritional quality will be affected. Predictions have been made on what could happen to populations of mountain ungulates based on how climate change could alter the distribution pattern and quality of high elevation vegetation. In this talk we will explore a case study using the “clover community-Apennine chamois Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata” to explore these relationships. All scenarios suggest a decline of the Apennine chamois in the next 50 years in its historical core range- from about 85% to 99% near-extinction. It is argued that the negative consequences of climate changes presently occurring at lower elevations will shift to higher ones in the future. These effects will vary with the species-specific ecological and behavioural flexibility of mountain herbivores, as well as with availability of climate refugia.

If climatic conditions do continue to change, these are likely to elicit a variation of resource availability for herbivores, and in turn for carnivores. A potential for exacerbation of interspecific competition could follow. Species distribution and abundance will be affected calling for farsighted measures of adaptive management and conservation.

Find out more about our speaker here

Snow Leopard Individual Identification- Increasing precision in camera-trap abundance estimates?

SLN welcomes its Steering Committee member Orjan Johansson who introduces a recent publication on the scope of potential mis-identifications errors in camera trap data processing. He also shares the latest thinking on investigating this challenge further.

Orjan is joined by Abinand Reddy, David Borchers, Justine Shanti Alexander, Koustubh Sharma, Manvi Sharma and Paul van Dam-Bates as Panelists. Each panelist share their experiences and insights on snow leopard camera trapping and the tools that are being developed to address concerns with individual identification. We hope that this workshop will help share good practices and recommendations for improving individual identification.  

This Webinar is offered thanks to GSLEP‘s support. Find out more about the Workshop and the Speakers HERE.

PAWS: Population Assessment of the Worlds Snow Leopards

 

Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Program

PAWS: Population Assessment of the World’s Snow leopards

 

At the International Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Conservation Forum 2017 in Bishkek, the range country governments formally endorsed a plan to develop a global snow leopard population assessment. The ambitious initiative, called Population Assessment of the World’s Snow Leopards, or, in short, PAWS, aims to produce a robust estimate of the threatened cat’s population status within the next 5 years.

The GSLEP secretariat has been tasked with coordinating this initiative, and has developed an Action Plan which has been approved by the GSLEP Steering Committee.

PAWS aims to bring together the global snow leopard conservation community’s resources, manpower and expertise to jointly arrive at a scientifically robust population estimate.

Find out more on the GSLEP Website.

PAWS TOOLS

 

The GSLEP Secretariat and various partners have created a number of tools designed to help snow leopard scientists more effectively and efficiently collect and analyze population data, and to ensure that they are consistent with the recommendations of the PAWS Science Advisory Group.

Macro vs micro-level designs: The PAWS approach breaks assessing the abundance of snow leopard populations into two steps. First, we decide which areas to survey (macro level). Then, we decide where to place cameras in each survey area (micro level).

Snow Leopards Edition 1 Released

 

After nearly two years of effort, a new comprehensive guide to snow leopards has been published by Elsevier. This book is a part of the Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes series edited by Philip J. Nyhus.

Over 200 authors were involved, many of whom are Snow Leopard Network members. The effort was led by editors and SLN members Dr. Thomas McCarthy and Dr. David Mallon.