Article

Human–carnivore coexistence in Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) Nature Reserve, China: Patterns and compensation

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Abstract

Livestock depredation by large carnivores is frequently reported in Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) National Nature Reserve, Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Seeking to minimize conflicts, we assessed depredation patterns and ways to upgrade the compensation program. We gathered 9193 conflict records over 2011–2013 to determine the extent and tempo-spatial patterns of the depredation. We interviewed 22 local officials and 94 residents to learn their views on depredations and to assess the adequacy of compensation. Data showed that wolves (Canis lupus), lynx (Lynx lynx), and snow leopards (Panthera uncia) were the major livestock predators. Total livestock loss accounted for 1.2% of the entire stockholding (n = 846,707) in the region. Wolves and lynx tended to take sheep and goats, whereas snow leopards favored yaks and cattle in relation to their proportional abundance. Predation mostly occurred in March through July. Livestock depredation by all predators when combined was best explained by terrain ruggedness and density of small- and large-bodied livestock. Temporal and spatial predation patterns varied among carnivores. Most respondents (74%) attributed depredation causes to an increase in carnivore abundance. Only 7% blamed lax livestock herding practice for predation losses. Five percent said that predation was the result of livestock population increases, while 11% had no idea. The compensation scheme was found to be flawed in all aspects—predation verification, application procedure, compensation standard, operational resource allocation, making payment, and other problems. To enhance management for human–carnivore coexistence, we recommend a problem-oriented, integrated, adaptive approach that targets the complex social context of the conflict and addresses the interconnected functions of decision-making process.

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... A number of studies have been conducted in central Asian mountains to assess the extent of depredation by snow leopards, wolves and their co-predators and the ecological correlates of livestock depredation (Namgail et al., 2007;Chen et al., 2016;Din et al., 2017;Mijiddorj et al., 2018;Chetri et al., 2019). Studies reported depredation by snow leopard, wolf -and other co-predators to a much smaller extent -ranging from about 1 to 18% of the total livestock (Mishra, 1997;Namgail et al., 2007;Alexander et al., 2015;Chen et al., 2016;Chetri et al., 2019), with the exception of one study in the Pakistani Pamirs by Din et al. (2017) which reported losses of 27%. ...
... A number of studies have been conducted in central Asian mountains to assess the extent of depredation by snow leopards, wolves and their co-predators and the ecological correlates of livestock depredation (Namgail et al., 2007;Chen et al., 2016;Din et al., 2017;Mijiddorj et al., 2018;Chetri et al., 2019). Studies reported depredation by snow leopard, wolf -and other co-predators to a much smaller extent -ranging from about 1 to 18% of the total livestock (Mishra, 1997;Namgail et al., 2007;Alexander et al., 2015;Chen et al., 2016;Chetri et al., 2019), with the exception of one study in the Pakistani Pamirs by Din et al. (2017) which reported losses of 27%. Between wolf and snow leopard, studies attribute 20e75% of the total depredation to snow leopard (Li et al., 2013b;Suryawanshi et al., 2013;Aryal et al., 2014;Din et al., 2017;Mijiddorj et al., 2018;Chetri et al., 2019). ...
... In contrast to other studies (e.g. Sangay and Vernes, 2008;Suryawanshi et al., 2013;Chen et al., 2016), our results did not reveal notable differences in livestock selectivity by wolves and snow leopards. In summary, wolves and snow leopards showed a preference for large-sized livestock (while both selected yaks, wolves selected horses whereas snow leopards, cattle), even though, in terms of quantity, both killed more small-sized than large-sized livestock. ...
Article
Large carnivores can cause considerable economic damage, mainly due to livestock depredation. These conflicts instigate negative attitude towards their conservation, which could in the extreme case lead to retaliatory killing. Here we focus on the snow leopard (Panthera uncia), a species of conservation concern with particularly large spatial requirements. We conducted the study in the Bayan €Olgii province, one of the poorest provinces of Mongolia, where the majority of the human population are traditional herders. We conducted a survey among herders (N ¼ 261) through a semi-structured questionnaire with the aim to assess: the current and future herding practices and prevention measures, herders’ perceptions and knowledge of the environmental protection and hunting laws; the perceived livestock losses to snow leopard, wolf (Canis lupus), and wolverine (Gulo gulo), as well as to non-predatory factors; the key factors affecting livestock losses to these three large carnivores; and, finally, the attitudes towards these three large carnivores. Non-predatory causes of mortality were slightly higher than depredation cases, representing 4.5% and 4.3% of livestock holdings respectively. While no depredation of livestock was reported from wolverines, snow leopard and wolf depredation made up 0.2% and 4.1% of total livestock holdings, respectively. Herders’ attitudes towards the three large carnivores were negatively affected by the magnitude of the damages since they had a positive overall attitude towards both snow leopard and wolverine, whereas the attitude towards wolf was negative. We discuss conservation and management options to mitigate herder-snow leopard impacts. To palliate the negative consequences of the increasing trend in livestock numbers, herd size reduction should be encouraged by adding economic value to the individual livestock and/or by promoting alternative income and/or ecotourism. Furthermore, co-management between government and stakeholders would help tackle this complex problem, with herders playing a major role in the development of livestock management strategies. Traditional practices, such as regularly shifting campsites and using dogs and corrals at night, could reduce livestock losses caused by snow leopards.
... This approach often involves data on spatial locations of predation events, which are then related to environmental and socioeconomic variables using statistical tools (e.g. Treves et al., 2004;Kaartinen et al., 2009;2017;Chen et al., 2016). In modelling exercises it may also be important to treat separately different livestock species, or even different breeds of the same species (Landa et al., 1999), because they often vary widely in husbandry systems, spatial distribution, and vulnerability to predation (Miller et al., 2016). ...
... Although some studies present wolf predation patterns separately for each livestock species, when it comes to model predation risk they generally pool together attacks to all species (e.g. Dondina et al., 2015;Chen et al., 2016), mainly because there is just one main species affected and attacks to other species are very few (e.g. Treves et al., 2011Treves et al., , 2017Edge et al., 2011). ...
... Other studies have used administrative boundaries as sampling units (e.g. Treves et al., 2004;Edge et al., 2011;Chen et al., 2016), and in our case this was unavoidable because the parish corresponded to the minimum spatial unit for which wolf attacks and socioeconomic data were consistently available. This is unlikely to have introduced significant errors or biases, because most parishes were small and relatively homogeneous, and in average over ten times smaller than the typical home ranges of wolves in the Iberian Peninsula (e.g. ...
Article
Predation on livestock is a source of human-wildlife conflicts and can undermine the conservation of large car-nivores. To design effective mitigation strategies, it is important to understand the determinants of predation across livestock species, which often differ in husbandry practices, vulnerability to predators and economic value. Moreover, attention should be given to both predation occurrence and intensity, because these can have different spatial patterns and predictors. We used spatial risk modelling to quantify factors affecting wolf predation on five livestock species in Portugal. Within the 1619 parishes encompassing the entire wolf range in the country, the national wolf compensation scheme recorded 17,670 predation events in 2009-2015, each involving one or more livestock species: sheep (31.7%), cattle (27.7%), goats (26.8%), horses (14.8%) and donkeys (3.2%). Models built with 2009-2013 data and validated with 2014-2015 data, showed a shared general pattern of predation probability on each species increasing with its own density and proximity to wolf packs. For some species there were positive relations with the density of other livestock species, and with habitat variables such as altitude, and land cover by shrubland and natural pastures. There was also a general pattern for predation intensity on each species increasing with its own density, while proximity to wolf packs had no significant effects. Predation intensity on goats, cattle and horses increased with the use of communal versus private pastures. Our results suggest that although predation may occur wherever wolves coexist with livestock species, high predation intensity is mainly restricted to particular areas where husbandry practices increase the vulnerability of animals, and this is where mitigation efforts should concentrate.
... A number of studies have been conducted in central Asian mountains to assess the extent of depredation by snow leopards, wolves and their co-predators and the ecological correlates of livestock depredation (Namgail et al., 2007;Chen et al., 2016;Din et al., 2017;Mijiddorj et al., 2018;Chetri et al., 2019). Studies reported depredation by snow leopard, wolf -and other co-predators to a much smaller extent -ranging from about 1 to 18% of the total livestock (Mishra, 1997;Namgail et al., 2007;Alexander et al., 2015;Chen et al., 2016;Chetri et al., 2019), with the exception of one study in the Pakistani Pamirs by Din et al. (2017) which reported losses of 27%. ...
... A number of studies have been conducted in central Asian mountains to assess the extent of depredation by snow leopards, wolves and their co-predators and the ecological correlates of livestock depredation (Namgail et al., 2007;Chen et al., 2016;Din et al., 2017;Mijiddorj et al., 2018;Chetri et al., 2019). Studies reported depredation by snow leopard, wolf -and other co-predators to a much smaller extent -ranging from about 1 to 18% of the total livestock (Mishra, 1997;Namgail et al., 2007;Alexander et al., 2015;Chen et al., 2016;Chetri et al., 2019), with the exception of one study in the Pakistani Pamirs by Din et al. (2017) which reported losses of 27%. Between wolf and snow leopard, studies attribute 20e75% of the total depredation to snow leopard (Li et al., 2013b;Suryawanshi et al., 2013;Aryal et al., 2014;Din et al., 2017;Mijiddorj et al., 2018;Chetri et al., 2019). ...
... In contrast to other studies (e.g. Sangay and Vernes, 2008;Suryawanshi et al., 2013;Chen et al., 2016), our results did not reveal notable differences in livestock selectivity by wolves and snow leopards. In summary, wolves and snow leopards showed a preference for large-sized livestock (while both selected yaks, wolves selected horses whereas snow leopards, cattle), even though, in terms of quantity, both killed more small-sized than large-sized livestock. ...
Article
Full-text available
Large carnivores can cause considerable economic damage, mainly due to livestock depredation. These conflicts instigate negative attitude towards their conservation, which could in the extreme case lead to retaliatory killing. Here we focus on the snow leopard (Panthera uncia), a species of conservation concern with particularly large spatial requirements. We conducted the study in the Bayan Ölgii province, one of the poorest provinces of Mongolia, where the majority of the human population are traditional herders. We conducted a survey among herders (N = 261) through a semi-structured questionnaire with the aim to assess: the current and future herding practices and prevention measures, herders' perceptions and knowledge of the environmental protection and hunting laws; the perceived livestock losses to snow leopard, wolf (Canis lupus), and wolverine (Gulo gulo), as well as to non-predatory factors; the key factors affecting livestock losses to these three large carnivores; and, finally, the attitudes towards these three large carnivores. Non-predatory causes of mortality were slightly higher than depredation cases, representing 4.5% and 4.3% of livestock holdings respectively. While no depredation of livestock was reported from wolverines, snow leopard and wolf depredation made up 0.2% and 4.1% of total livestock holdings, respectively. Herders' attitudes towards the three large carnivores were negatively affected by the magnitude of the damages since they had a positive overall attitude towards both snow leopard and wolverine, whereas the attitude towards wolf was negative. We discuss conservation and management options to mitigate herder-snow leopard impacts. To palliate the negative consequences of the increasing trend in livestock numbers, herd size reduction should be encouraged by adding economic value to the individual livestock and/or by promoting alternative income and/or ecotourism. Furthermore, co-management between government and stakeholders would help tackle this complex problem, with herders playing a major role in the development of livestock management strategies. Traditional practices, such as regularly shifting campsites and using dogs and corrals at night, could reduce livestock losses caused by snow leopards.
... Although formal complaints to park authorities about livestock depredations were found to be minimal in the Annapurna and Everest regions of Nepal (Jackson et al. 1996;Ale et al. 2007), neighbouring regions provide additional details. Widespread dissatisfaction with the livestock compensation scheme in Qomolongma National Park, adjoining Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) on the Tibetan side, has been reported (Chen et al. 2016). In Nepal's eastern Kanchenjunga region, livestock herders were found to be mostly negative towards snow leopard conservation policy (Ikeda 2004). ...
... The most common reason for households not receiving compensation that triangulation interviews suggested was 'bureaucracy', cited by 41.0% of key informant interviewees (N = 39; Table 2). This has been a frequent critique of compensation schemes (Rosen et al. 2012;Chen et al. 2016). Yet the need for prompt payment has to be balanced with appropriate audits, checks and balances (Hemson et al. 2009;Alexander et al. 2021), a time-consuming process in itself, as several interviewees pointed out (Women's leader, SNP; Microcredit cooperative officer, SNP; Teacher, ACA). ...
... The annual overall loss to the species as a percentage of the total herd was 3.4% (Table 3), approximately a third of total losses, which is consistent with the proportion reporting the species as the primary cause of livestock loss. This figure is also the same as the mean of various studies in the literature, which reported annual livestock predation rates by snow leopards of between 0.3% and 12.0% (Mishra 1997;Jackson and Wangchuk 2001;Devkota et al. 2013;Li et al. 2013;Ale et al. 2014;Alexander et al. 2015;Chen et al. 2016). There appear to be no published estimates of livestock losses to snow leopards in SNP, apart from a figure of 1.9% estimated for the Phortse area (Ale et al. 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
Impacts on households from large carnivores are frequently reported in the conservation literature, but conflicts between households and large carnivore conservation are not. Employing a human-wildlife coexistence framework that distinguishes between human-wildlife impacts on one hand, and human-conservation conflicts on the other, this paper presents data from Annapurna Conservation Area and Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, Nepal, each with different models of conservation governance. Using systematic sampling, quantitative information from 705 households was collected via questionnaires, while 70 semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants for cross-methods triangulation. 7.7% of households reported conflicts with snow leopard conservation in the previous 12 months, primarily due to damage to livelihoods; these were significantly higher in the Annapurna region. 373 livestock were reported lost by households to snow leopards in the previous 12 months, representing 3.4% of total livestock owned and US$ 132,450 in financial value. Livestock losses were significantly lower in the Everest area. In linear regression models, total household livestock losses to all sources best explained conflicts with snow leopard conservation and household livestock losses to snow leopards but the models for the former dependent variable had very low explanatory power. Conservation in general, and large carnivore conservation in particular, should distinguish carefully between impacts caused by coexistence with these species and conflicts with conservation actors and over the methods and interventions used to conserve carnivores, especially where these negatively impact local livelihoods. In addition, livestock husbandry standards are highlighted again as an important factor in the success of carnivore conservation programmes.
... With the exception of a survey of local attitudes to a livestock compensation scheme in China [44], no studies to date have comprehensively considered attitudes towards snow leopard conservation in general, including gendered dimensions. While a study in eastern Nepal found mostly negative attitudes towards snow leopard conservation [45], its small sample size (n = 17) renders it unrepresentative. ...
... Multivariate analyses of attitudes to snow leopard conservation have not been studied previously, making it difficult to compare explanatory factors with other range states. However, because attitudes to snow leopards were found to be the most important variables in models for both SNP and ACA, it reiterates the relevance of the link between attitudes to the species and to its conservation, as has been briefly noted before in China [44] and Nepal [45]. For the other significant variables in the models, significant positive relationships with attitudes to conservation have been noted for livelihood diversification [38] and knowledge [41]. ...
... Along with parallel analyses of attitudes to snow leopard conservation, including explanatory regression models, this research represents the first known comprehensive empirical analysis of the factors that motivate and explain attitudes to the conservation of this species. In doing so, it addresses an important information gap highlighted by Rosen et al. [46], and complements exploratory work on attitudes to aspects of snow leopard conservation conducted elsewhere in Nepal [45] and in China [44]. Future research could replicate this study at other sites in snow leopard habitat where similar interventions and actors exist. ...
Article
Full-text available
The snow leopard Panthera uncia is a vulnerable wild felid native to mountainous regions of 12 Asian countries. It faces numerous overlapping threats, including killings by herders retaliating against livestock losses, the illegal wildlife trade, loss of prey and habitat, infrastructure, energy and mining developments, and climate change. The species ranges over large territories that often lie outside of protected areas (PA), so coexistence with human populations across its range is key to its persistence. Human attitudes to snow leopards may be an important factor to consider in reducing overlapping threats to this species. However, this nexus has not been widely studied to date. Attitudes to snow leopard conservation, including actors and interventions, may also be a significant aspect of coexistence. These have also received limited empirical attention. This study therefore explored human attitudes to snow leopards and to snow leopard conservation, the motivations for these attitudes and the individual factors that best explained them. Using systematic sampling, a quantitative questionnaire was administered to 705 households at two sites in the Nepal Himalayas: Sagarmatha National Park, with a less decentralised governance model, and Annapurna Conservation Area, with a more decentralised model. Linear regression models were the main form of analysis. Based on these, attitudes to snow leopard conservation emerged as the strongest influence on local attitudes to snow leopards, and vice versa. This was true in both PAs, despite their differing management regimes. Other important explanatory factors included numbers of livestock owned, years of education, household livelihoods and age. Furthermore, a positive intrinsic motivation was the most common reason given by respondents to explain their attitudes to both snow leopards and snow leopard conservation. These findings demonstrate that, in addition to the usual suite of factors that influence attitudes to a species, the way in which its conservation is pursued and perceived also needs consideration. How the snow leopard is conserved may strongly influence its coexistence with local communities.
... We investigated snow leopard habitat relationships in two landscapes of Western China: the Qilian Mountains (Gansu and Qinghai Provinces) and in the Himalayas of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Of the few published studies from these areas, most have focused on site occupancy, density estimation, and human perception toward snow leopards (Alexander, Chen, et al., 2015;Alexander, Gopalaswamy, Shi, Hughes, & Riordan, 2016;Alexander, Gopalaswamy, Shi, & Riordan, 2015;Alexander, Shi, Tallents, & Riordan, 2016;Alexander, Zhang, Shi, & Riordan, 2016;Chen et al., 2016Chen et al., , 2017. Bai et al. (2018) produced the first habitat suitability model for snow leopard using the MaxEnt algorithm in the Qomolangma National Nature Reserve, in the Chinese Himalayas. ...
... The identification of PLAND_Gr and of GYR_AM_Gr as recurring landcover metrics in the top five models (Tables 4 and 5), across the two study areas, might be related to habitat choices in function of predatory behavior (Hayward, Hayward, Tambling, & Kerley, 2011;Lyngdoh et al., 2014). Grassland and sparse vegetation are important components of the landscape for wild ungulates, small mammals, and birds, as well as for livestock, on which snow leopards are known to occasionally prey (Bagchi & Mishra, 2006;Chen et al., 2016;Lyngdoh et al., 2014). Therefore, the selection of a landscape with a total optimum amount of sparse vegetation in a given radius (as highlighted by PLAND_Gr), regardless of its extensiveness or continuity (revealed by GYR_AM_Gr) might be indicative of habitat choices intended to maximize hunting opportunities by foraging in preys' feeding grounds, and to balance tradeoffs in energy expenditures to locate and chase them (Hayward et al., 2011;Hayward, Jędrzejewski, & Jêdrzejewska, 2012;Lyngdoh et al., 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Replicated multiple scale species distribution models (SDMs) have become increasingly important to identify the correct variables determining species distribution and their influences on ecological responses. This study explores multi‐scale habitat relationships of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia ) in two study areas on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau of western China. Our primary objectives were to evaluate the degree to which snow leopard habitat relationships, expressed by predictors, scales of response, and magnitude of effects, were consistent across study areas or locally landcape‐specific. We coupled univariate scale optimization and the maximum entropy algorithm to produce multivariate SDMs, inferring the relative suitability for the species by ensembling top performing models. We optimized the SDMs based on average omission rate across the top models and ensembles’ overlap with a simulated reference model. Comparison of SDMs in the two study areas highlighted landscape‐specific responses to limiting factors. These were dependent on the effects of the hydrological network, anthropogenic features, topographic complexity, and the heterogeneity of the landcover patch mosaic. Overall, even accounting for specific local differences, we found general landscape attributes associated with snow leopard ecological requirements, consisting of a positive association with uplands and ridges, aggregated low‐contrast landscapes, and large extents of grassy and herbaceous vegetation. As a means to evaluate the performance of two bias correction methods, we explored their effects on three datasets showing a range of bias intensities. The performance of corrections depends on the bias intensity; however, density kernels offered a reliable correction strategy under all circumstances. This study reveals the multi‐scale response of snow leopards to environmental attributes and confirms the role of meta‐replicated study designs for the identification of spatially varying limiting factors. Furthermore, this study makes important contributions to the ongoing discussion about the best approaches for sampling bias correction.
... The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is a cryptic apex predator of Central Asia and the Himalayan mountain landscape ecosystem (Jackson, 1996), where pastoralists and snow leopards have a long history of interaction and coexistence (Mishra et al., 2016). In the Tibetan and other Buddhist regions, snow leopards have long received culturally-based tolerance (Li et al., 2014;Suryawanshi et al., 2014;Sharma et al., 2015;Chen et al., 2016). Reported livestock depredation events by snow leopards have occurred much less frequently than those by other sympatric large carnivores such as wolf (Canis lupus) and lynx (Lynx lynx) in the Tibetan communities near the northern side of Mount Qomolangma (known as Mt. ...
... Reported livestock depredation events by snow leopards have occurred much less frequently than those by other sympatric large carnivores such as wolf (Canis lupus) and lynx (Lynx lynx) in the Tibetan communities near the northern side of Mount Qomolangma (known as Mt. Everest) (Chen et al., 2016). ...
Article
The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) inhabits a human-altered alpine landscape and is often tolerated by residents in regions where the dominant religion is Tibetan Buddhism, including in Qomolangma NNR on the northern side of the Chinese Himalayas. Despite these positive attitudes, many decades of rapid economic development and population growth can cause increasing disturbance to the snow leopards, altering their habitat use patterns and ultimately impacting their conservation. We adopted a dynamic landscape ecology perspective and used multi-scale technique and occupancy model to better understand snow leopard habitat use and coexistence with humans in an 825 km2 communal landscape. We ranked eight hypothetical models containing potential natural and anthropogenic drivers of habitat use and compared them between summer and winter seasons within a year. HABITAT was the optimal model in winter, whereas ANTHROPOGENIC INFLUENCE was the top ranking in summer (AICcw2). Overall, model performance was better in the winter than in the summer, suggesting that perhaps some latent summer covariates were not measured. Among the individual variables, terrain ruggedness strongly affected snow leopard habitat use in the winter, but not in the summer. Univariate modeling suggested snow leopards prefer to use rugged land in winter with a broad scale (4000 m focal radius) but with a lesser scale in summer (30 m); Snow leopards preferred habitat with a slope of 22 at a scale of 1000 m throughout both seasons, which is possibly correlated with prey occurrence. Furthermore, all covariates mentioned above showed inextricable ties with human activities (presence of settlements and grazing intensity). Our findings show that multiple sources of anthropogenic activity have complex connections with snow leopard habitat use, even under low human density when anthropogenic activities are sparsely distributed across a vast landscape. This study is also valuable for habitat use research in the future, especially regarding covariate selection for finite sample sizes in inaccessible terrain.
... Snow Leopards prefer wild prey, but turn to livestock when their natural prey is depleted by over-hunting and competition for pasture with livestock, an increasingly common condition across much of Snow Leopard range (SLN, 2014). Livestock depredation rates attributable to Snow Leopards average 1-3% of people's holdings (Jackson, 2015) (and up to 12% [reviewed in , with considerable variation even within limited areas: Chen et al, 2016). Catastrophic episodes of surplus killing, where tens of animals penned in a corral may be killed but not eaten, increase antipathy towards the predator. ...
... It is important for governments to support and expand the approaches developed by the Snow Leopard conservation community to address this issue. Mishra et al. (2016) propose a three-pronged strategy: 1) reduce livestock losses (e.g., through the construction of predator-proof corrals [Mohammed et al., 2016;Paltsyn et al., 2016] and promotion of improved herding practices [Nawaz et al., 2016a]); 2) offset livestock losses (e.g., through community livestock insurance [Kunkel et al., 2016] and government compensation programs [e.g., Chen et al., 2016], and 3) improve the social carrying capacity for Snow Leopards (e.g., through education [Hillard et al., 2016] as well supporting conservation-linked initiatives to strengthen local livelihoods [Agvaantseren et al., 2016;Namgail et al., 2016]). Governments should also create trained HWC rapid response teams, and protect the Snow Leopard's wild ungulate prey base (Lovari and Mishra, 2016), through both enhanced anti-poaching as well as trophy hunting linked to community benefits (Nawaz et al., 2016b;Reading and Amgalanbaatar, 2016;Michel and Rosen, 2016). ...
... Our overall density estimate of 0.95 (SE 0.201) snow leopards per 100 km 2 is lower than most recorded estimates from snow leopard ranges (see e.g. (Alexander et al., 2015;Alexander et al., 2016;Chen et al., 2016;DoFPS, 2016;Jackson et al., 2006;Jane cka et al., 2011;Kachel et al., 2017;McCarthy et al., 2008;Suryawanshi et al., 2017;WCNP, 2016). The lowest snow leopard density of 0.15 individuals/100 km 2 was reported from a camera trap survey in SaryChat, Krygyzstan (McCarthy et al., 2008). ...
... Using GPS-telemetry, Johansson et al. (2016) demonstrated that snow leopard home range sizes were between 6 and 44 times larger than previous VHF-based estimates. The average 95% MCP home range estimates from Johansson et al. (2016) were ca 500 km 2 , thus larger than most study areas where snow leopard densities have been estimated previously (Alexander et al. 2015(Alexander et al. , 2016Chen et al., 2016;Jackson et al., 2006;Jane cka et al., 2011;Oli, 1994;Suryawanshi et al., 2017). Home ranges in our study area may have been somewhat smaller than those reported from Mongolia due to a high prey density (Chetri et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Although abundance estimates have a strong bearing on the conservation status of a species, less than 2% of the global snow leopard distribution range has been sampled systematically, mostly in small survey areas. In order to estimate snow leopard density across a large landscape, we collected 347 putative snow leopard scats from 246 transects (490 km) in twenty-six 5 �X 5km sized sampling grid cells within 4393 km2 in Annapurna-Manaslu, Nepal. From 182 confirmed snow leopard scats, 81 were identified as belonging to 34 individuals; the remaining were discarded for their low (<0.625) quality index. Using maximum likelihood based spatial capture recapture analysis, we developed candidate model sets to test effects of various covariates on density and detection of scats on transects. The best models described the variation in density as a quadratic function of elevation and detection as a linear function of topography. The average density estimate of snow leopards for the area of interest within Nepal was 0.95 (SE 0.19) animals per 100 km2 (0.66e1.41 95% CL) with predicted densities varying between 0.1 and 1.9 in different parts, thus highlighting the heterogeneity in densities as a function of habitat types. Our density estimate was low compared to previous estimates from smaller study areas. Probably, estimates from some of these areas were inflated due to locally high abundances in overlap zones (hotspots) of neighboring individuals, whose territories probably range far beyond study area borders. Our results highlight the need for a large-scale approach in snow leopard monitoring, and we recommend that methodological problems related to spatial scale are taken into account in future snow leopard research.
... The compensation programs are successful in achieving co-existence between humans and snow leopards (Hussain, 2000). Currently one of the main issues facing the compensation programs is a shortage or lack of funding (Bagchi and Mishra, 2006;Chen et al., 2016a;Maheshwari and Niraj, 2018). Only 3% of the livestock losses by snow leopards were compensated in the Spiti region (India) by a compensation scheme, resulting in socio-economic problems in the community (Bagchi and Mishra, 2006). ...
Article
Conservation of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is challenging because of its threatened status and increase in human-snow leopard conflict (HSC). The area of occupancy of the snow leopard comprises mountainous regions of Asia that are confronted with various environmental pressures including climate change. HSCs have increased with a burgeoning human population and economic activities that enhance competition between human and snow leopard or its preys. Here we systematically review the peer-reviewed literature from 1994 to 2018 in Web of Science, Google Scholar, Science Direct and PubMed (30 articles), to evaluate the current state of scholarship about HSCs and their management. We determine: 1) the spatio-temporal distribution of relevant researches; 2) the methodologies to assess HSCs; 3) and evaluate existing interventions for conflict management; and 4) the potential options for HSC management. The aim of the current study is thus to identify key research gaps and future research requirements. Of the articles in this review, 60% evaluated the mitigation of HSCs, while only 37% provided actionable and decisive results. Compensation programs and livestock management strategies had high success rates for mitigating HSCs through direct or community-managed interventions. Further research is required to evaluate the efficacy of existing HSC mitigation strategies, many of which, while recommended, lack proper support. In spite of the progress made in HSC studies, research is needed to examine ecological and socio-cultural context of HSCs. We suggest future work focus on rangeland management for HSC mitigation, thus ultimately fostering a coexistence between human and snow leopard.
... When conflicts do arise, the costs can be offset with subsidies (Bulte and Rondeau, 2005;Dickman et al., 2011;Mishra et al., 2003). Challengingly, some governments do not have the resources to support conservation initiatives or compensate farmers for losses and in others, the systems are not developed to properly address the problems (Chen et al., 2015). In developing countries, this leads to continued persecution of predators, maybe out of bare necessity to maintain herds in some cases (Dar et al., 2009), but improved education and validation of effective alternatives hold promise for resolving conflict. ...
Article
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Predators shape ecosystem structure and function through their direct and indirect effects on prey, which permeate through ecological communities. Predators are often perceived as competitors or threats to human values or well-being. This conflict has persisted for centuries, often resulting in predator removal (i.e. killing) via targeted culling, trapping, poisoning, and/or public hunts. Predator removal persists as a management strategy but requires scientific evaluation to assess the impacts of these actions, and to develop a way forward in a world where human-predator conflict may intensify due to predator reintroduction and rewilding, alongside an expanding human population. We reviewed literature investigating predator removal and focused on identifying instances of successes and failures. We found that predator removal was generally intended to protect domestic animals from depredation, to preserve prey species, or to mitigate risks of direct human conflict, corresponding to being conducted in farmland, wild land, or urban areas. Because of the different motivations for predator removal, there was no consistent definition of what success entailed so we developed one with which to assess studies we reviewed. Research tended to be retrospective and correlative and there were few controlled experimental approaches that evaluated whether predator removal met our definition of success, making formal meta-analysis impossible. Predator removal appeared to only be effective for the short-term, failing in the absence of sustained predator suppression. This means predator removal was typically an ineffective and costly approach to conflicts between humans and predators. Management must consider the role of the predator within the ecosystem and the potential consequences of removal on competitors and prey. Simulations or models can be generated to predict responses prior to removing predators. We also suggest that alternatives to predator removal be further developed and researched. Ultimately, humans must coexist with predators and learning how best to do so may resolve many conflicts.
... El control de fauna silvestre se aplica por ejemplo, cuando hay aves en aeropuertos, mamíferos en áreas de cultivos y en casos de conflicto humano-carnívoro (por la depredación de animales domésticos por grandes felinos); este manejo se traduce en salvar vidas humanas por accidentes y disminuir pérdidas económicas, conflictos en actividades agropecuarias y efectos negativos sobre la biodiversidad por especies exóticas-invasoras (Chen et al., 2016;Pérez & Pacheco, 2006;Shanti, Gopalaswamy, Shi, Hughes & Riordan, 2016;Sodji, 2002;Vercauteren, Lavelle & Philips, 2005). ...
Article
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El manejo de vida silvestre incluye todas aquellas acciones que se realizan para obtener beneficios ecológicos, socioculturales o económicos provenientes de la vida silvestre. En la actualidad, se plantea el manejo bajo un enfoque de sustentabilidad, por lo que resulta urgente reconciliar dos acciones que se consideraban en el pasado como incompatibles, la obtención de una rentabilidad económica de las actividades humanas y la preservación a largo plazo de la biodiversidad. Bajo la directriz de la sustentabilidad deberán de conjugarse a través de un manejo que logre según las necesidades mantener, aumentar, estabilizar o disminuir una población de vida silvestre de manera que estas acciones impacten en la conservación, control, reproducción o aprovechamiento sustentable fuera o dentro de su hábitat natural. El manejo adecuado de vida silvestre solo se consigue con la participación de los diferentes actores involucrados, quienes deberán adoptar una evaluación técnica-científica, tomando en cuenta el bienestar animal, aplicar conocimientos básicos y tradicionales y acatar la legislación vigente.
... Recientemente se han descrito ataques a ganado doméstico (Wegge et Suryawanshi et al., 2013;Johansson et al., 2015;Sharma et al., 2015;Chen et al., 2016) lo que indica el conflicto con los ganaderos y nuevos asentamientos humanos. Existen aspectos sobre la conservación de la pantera de las nieves que conviene resaltar: uno es que en las zonas periféricas con cada vez mayor población humana, la pantera de las nieves está claramente en regresión por la disminución de sus presas o por la persecución directa, pero también es cierto que hay grandes zonas en el Chatang, entre el norte de Nepal y el sur del desierto de Gobi, con poca o inexistente ocupación humana que podría ser un reservorio natural para la especie, aunque en la actualidad no hay estudios publicados. ...
... type (Rostro-Garcia et al. 2016), season and day length (Chen et al. 2016), and proximity to human activities (Michalski et al. 2006). The integration of these factors provides the context for when and where livestock and carnivores encounter each other (Miller 2015). ...
Article
Carnivore predation on livestock is a complex management and policy challenge, yet is also intrinsically an ecological interaction between predators and prey. Human-wildlife interactions occur in socio-ecological systems, in which human and environmental processes are closely linked. However, underlying human-wildlife conflict and key to unpacking its complexity are concrete and identifiable ecological mechanisms that lead to predation events. To better understand how known ecological theories map onto the interactions between wild predators and domestic prey, we developed a framework describing ecological drivers of predation on livestock. We used this framework to examine ecological mechanisms through which specific management interventions operate, and we analyzed the ecological determinants of failure and success of management interventions in three case studies on snow leopards (Panthera uncia), wolves (Canis lupus), and cougars (Puma concolor). Our analysis demonstrates that mitigation of human-wildlife conflict ultimately requires an understanding of how fundamental ecological theories work within domestic predator-prey systems.
... Physical (body size, morphology, etc.) and behavioral traits (movement time and range, food habits, etc.) of carnivores, exposure to risks connected to the animals, together with social and cultural beliefs influence human perceptions and determine attitudes (Kellert et al., 1996). The mountain pastoralists in Asia usually have negative attitudes toward both snow leopards and wolves (Alexander et al., 2015;Bagchi & Mishra, 2006;Chen et al., 2016;Din et al., 2017;Mishra, 1997;Namgail, Fox, & Bhatnagar, 2007;Oli, Taylor, & Rogers, 1994;Suryawanshi et al., 2014) because these carnivores frequently depredate on livestock, that form the backbone of household economy of pastoralists in the region (Rosen et al., 2012). In recent times, pastoralists in the region have shifted from subsistence to commercial agriculture and animal husbandry (Bauer, 2004;Mishra, 1997), increasing the economic value of livestock. ...
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The Himalayan wolf Canis sp. and snow leopard Panthera uncia are found in the Nepalese Himalayas where conservation efforts target the latter but not the former. We conducted semistructured questionnaire surveys of 71 residents in upper Humla, upper Dolpa, and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) during 2014–2016 to understand people's knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and interactions with these two carnivores. We fitted a cumulative link mixed model to predict Likert scale ordinal responses from a series of Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Overall, attitudes were more positive toward snow leopards than wolves. Livestock depredation was the main predictor of the general negative attitude toward wolves (Estimate = −1.30873; p = .029866) but there was no evidence for an effect for snow leopards (Estimate = −0.3640; p = .631446). Agropastoralists had more negative attitudes than respondents with other occupations toward both carnivores and men had more positive attitudes than women. Among our study areas, respondents in the community‐owned KCA had the most positive attitudes. Our findings illustrate the need to reduce human–carnivore conflict through a combined approach of education, mitigation, and economic cost‐sharing with respectful engagement of local communities. Specifically, to encourage more villagers to participate in livestock insurance schemes, they should be improved by including all large carnivores and adjusting compensation to the market value of a young replacement of the depredated livestock type. Carnivore conservation interventions should target the whole predator guild to achieve long‐term success and to protect the Himalayan ecosystem at large. The first author conducting a questionnaire survey with a yak herder in Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.
... Most of the studies on pastoralist attitudes towards snow leopards in the mountain pastoralist of Asia usually showed a negative attitude towards snow leopards (Alexander et al. 2015;Bagchi and Mishra 2006;Chen et al. 2016;Ud Din et al. 2017;Mishra 1997;Namgail et al. 2007;Oli et al. 1994). Suryawanshi et al. (2014) assert that the positive attitude of the local communities towards the acceptance of carnivores in their surroundings is attributed to the prevalence and practice of Buddhism in the local communities. ...
Article
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The pastoralists co-exist with wild predators and livestock depredation by predators causes an immense impact on the livelihood of the herders and instigates a negative attitude towards the conservation of these wild predators. Yak herders in western Bhutan move from place to place for herding on pasture and they face challenges with livestock predation by top predators like snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and dhole (Cuon aplinus). To investigate patterns of livestock depredation by the snow leopard and determine the attitude of herders towards snow leopard conservation, we conducted a household interview with all 56 itinerant yak herders in the west of Bhutan. Each herd was keeping a mean of 84 (± 29) yaks per herd. Yaks were mainly kept for milk and bulls for breeding and bullocks for meat to sustain their family livelihood. Predation of livestock by predators (42.9%) was among the top problems faced by the yak herders. A total of 398 yaks were lost to snow leopards (78.86%) followed by dhole (18.3%), Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus) (2.7%), and common leopard (Panthera pardus) (0.2%) in the past 5 years (2015-2019). The majority (87.22.8%) of the kills by snow leopards were young yak and most (60.5%) kills were recorded during summer. Snow leopards are considered harmful (73.2%), and herders (71.1%) are not in favour of snow leopard conservation. Herders' conflict with snow leopards is severe in the current study site, and we recommend social development for conservation programmes like livelihood alternatives for the herders, compensation and insurance schemes, and conservation awareness programmes for the yak herders as an intervention to create harmonic coexistence between the yak herder and the snow leopard.
... For instance, about 3-18% of local livestock holdings are reportedly lost to snow leopards annually (Oli et al., 1994;Jackson and Wangchuk, 2001;Namgail et al., 2007;Maheshwari et al., 2010;Alexander et al., 2015;Chetri et al., 2017;Farrington and Tsering, 2019;Rashid et al., 2020). Such livestock loss can amount to as much as 56% of an average per capita income (Ikeda, 2004;Alexander et al., 2015;Chen et al., 2016;Li et al., 2013;Farrington and Tsering, 2019;Maheshwari and Sathyakumar, 2019). ...
Article
Livestock is one of the major sources of livelihood for the agro-pastoral communities in central and south Asia.Livestock depredation by large carnivores is a wide-ranging issue that leads to economic losses and a deviance from co-existence. We investigated the grass root factors causing livestock depredation in Kargil, Ladakh and tested the findings of diet analysis in validating reported livestock depredation. Globally vulnerable snow leo-pard (Panthera uncia) and more common wolf (Canis lupus) were the two main wild predators. A total of 1113heads of livestock were reportedly killed by wolf (43.6%) followed by unknown predators (31.4%) and snowleopard (21.5%) in the study site from 2009 to 2012, which comes to 2.8% annual livestock losses. Scat analysisalso revealed a significant amount of livestock in the diet of snow leopard (47%) and wolf (51%). Poor livestockhusbandry practices and traditional livestock corrals were found to be the major drivers contributing in thelivestock depredation. Based on the researchfindings, we worked with the local communities to sensitize themabout wildlife conservation and extended limited support for predator proof livestock corrals at a small scale.Eventually it helped in reducing conflict level and conserving the globally threatened carnivores. We concludethat a participatory approach has been successful to generate an example in reducing large carnivore-humanconflict in the west Himalaya
... For example, locals' estimation of the wildlife population can deviate from the actual number, consciously if they try to exaggerate the number for compensation, or unconsciously such as because of poor memory. That is why researchers still insist that there is no evidence supporting the population growth of snow leopards, though most locals interviewed claim so in Qomolangma (Chen et al. 2016a). In recent years, camera traps operated by locals have emerged as a way to verify sightings of animals in a way that appears increasingly agreed upon by all stakeholders. ...
Article
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Crop damage by wildlife can cause significant economic loss and non-human primates can be nuisances to farmers following their ingenuity in crop-raiding strategies. There is an emerging research interest on interspecies interaction in human-wildlife conflicts, following the growing field of merging human-animal barrier, at least analytically. We collected qualitative data from two villages experiencing macaque crop damage near a national nature reserve in Guangxi, China, to understand how humans and macaques interact in a crop damage scenario and how the interaction evolves in time. We find the mutually interactive processes taken place between farmers and monkeys as they try to learn and adjust to the counterparts’ daily activities and raiding/guarding strategies. Their interaction is also mediated by materiality: the crops, the topography of the landscapes and managerial tools. In recent years, socioecological changes such as afforestation, hunting bans and out migration have enabled macaques to grow their population and more boldly pursue for their preference of crops. Our finding reveals the role of non-human animal agency, conservation, and other social processes in shaping human-wildlife relations, as well as the potential of using more-than-human perspective and ethnographic methods in understanding human-wildlife relations. It further implies the need of enhancing farmers’ knowing and adjustment, as well as encouraging human-wildlife cohabitation.
... In the Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve, as found in other high-altitude areas in Asia, herder livelihoods are threatened by the multiple depredation events that they face due to wolves and snow leopards (Hussain 2000;Bagchi and Mishra 2006;Alexander et al. 2015;Chen et al. 2016;Mijiddorj et al. 2018). The insurance program offered opportunities to alleviate the economic hardship associated with depredation. ...
Article
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Financial mechanisms to mitigate the costs of negative human–carnivore interactions are frequently promoted to support human coexistence with carnivores. Yet, evidence to support their performance in different settings is scarce. We evaluated a community-based livestock insurance program implemented as part of a broader snow leopard conservation effort in the Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve, South Gobi, Mongolia. We assessed program efficiency and effectiveness for snow leopard conservation using a results-based evaluation approach. Data sources included program records from 2009 to 2018, as well as surveys conducted in 2016 and 2017, which allowed us to compare key indicators across communities that participated in the insurance program and control communities. Program coverage and number of livestock insured rapidly increased over the years to reach 65% of households and close to 11,000 livestock. Participants expressed satisfaction with the program and their contributions increased over time, with an increasing proportion (reaching 64% in 2018) originating from participant premiums, suggesting strong community ownership of the program. Participants were less likely to report the intention to kill a snow leopard and reported fewer livestock losses than respondents from control communities, suggesting increased engagement in conservation efforts. These results together suggest that the insurance program achieved its expected objectives, although it is challenging to disentangle the contributions of each individual conservation intervention implemented in intervention communities. However, in the first three years of the program, snow leopard mortalities continued to be reported suggesting that additional interventions were needed to reach impact in terms of reducing retaliatory killings of large carnivores.
... Recientemente se han descrito ataques a ganado doméstico (Wegge et Suryawanshi et al., 2013;Johansson et al., 2015;Sharma et al., 2015;Chen et al., 2016) lo que indica el conflicto con los ganaderos y nuevos asentamientos humanos. Existen aspectos sobre la conservación de la pantera de las nieves que conviene resaltar: uno es que en las zonas periféricas con cada vez mayor población humana, la pantera de las nieves está claramente en regresión por la disminución de sus presas o por la persecución directa, pero también es cierto que hay grandes zonas en el Chatang, entre el norte de Nepal y el sur del desierto de Gobi, con poca o inexistente ocupación humana que podría ser un reservorio natural para la especie, aunque en la actualidad no hay estudios publicados. ...
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Se analiza la distribución y en algunos casos abundancia de los grandes depredadores a nivel mundial, así como 3 de estos grandes depredadores en México y algunos temas como etnobiología, y el papel de los zoos en la conservación
... The compensation programs are successful in achieving co-existence between humans and snow leopards (Hussain, 2000). Currently one of the main issues facing the compensation programs is a shortage or lack of funding (Bagchi and Mishra, 2006;Chen et al., 2016a;Maheshwari and Niraj, 2018). Only 3% of the livestock losses by snow leopards were compensated in the Spiti region (India) by a compensation scheme, resulting in socio-economic problems in the community (Bagchi and Mishra, 2006). ...
Article
Conservation of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is challenging because of its threatened status and increase in human-snow leopard conflict (HSC). The area of occupancy of the snow leopard comprises mountainous regions of Asia that are confronted with various environmental pressures including climate change. HSCs have increased with a burgeoning human population and economic activities that enhance competition between human and snow leopard or its preys. Here we systematically review the peer-reviewed literature from 1994 to 2018 in Web of Science, Google Scholar, Science Direct and PubMed (30 articles), to evaluate the current state of scholarship about HSCs and their management. We determine: 1) the spatio-temporal distribution of relevant researches; 2) the methodologies to assess HSCs; 3) and evaluate existing interventions for conflict management; and 4) the potential options for HSC management. The aim of the current study is thus to identify key research gaps and future research requirements. Of the articles in this review, 60% evaluated the mitigation of HSCs, while only 37% provided actionable and decisive results. Compensation programs and livestock management strategies had high success rates for mitigating HSCs through direct or community-managed interventions. Further research is required to evaluate the efficacy of existing HSC mitigation strategies, many of which, while recommended, lack proper support. In spite of the progress made in HSC studies, research is needed to examine ecological and socio-cultural context of HSCs. We suggest future work focus on rangeland management for HSC mitigation, thus ultimately fostering a coexistence between human and snow leopard.
... The compensation programs are successful in achieving co-existence between humans and snow leopards (Hussain, 2000). Currently one of the main issues facing the compensation programs is a shortage or lack of funding (Bagchi and Mishra, 2006;Chen et al., 2016a;Maheshwari and Niraj, 2018). Only 3% of the livestock losses by snow leopards were compensated in the Spiti region (India) by a compensation scheme, resulting in socio-economic problems in the community (Bagchi and Mishra, 2006). ...
Article
Conservation of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is challenging because of its threatened status and increase in human-snow leopard conflict (HSC). The area of occupancy of the snow leopard comprises mountainous regions of Asia that are confronted with various environmental pressures including climate change. HSCs have increased with a burgeoning human population and economic activities that enhance competition between human and snow leopard or its preys. Here we systematically review the peer-reviewed literature from 1994 to 2018 in Web of Science, Google Scholar, Science Direct and PubMed (30 articles), to evaluate the current state of scholarship about HSCs and their management. We determine: 1) the spatio-temporal distribution of relevant researches; 2) the methodologies to assess HSCs; 3) and evaluate existing interventions for conflict management; and 4) the potential options for HSC management. The aim of the current study is thus to identify key research gaps and future research requirements. Of the articles in this review, 60% evaluated the mitigation of HSCs, while only 37% provided actionable and decisive results. Compensation programs and livestock management strategies had high success rates for mitigating HSCs through direct or community-managed interventions. Further research is required to evaluate the efficacy of existing HSC mitigation strategies, many of which, while recommended, lack proper support. In spite of the progress made in HSC studies, research is needed to examine ecological and socio-cultural context of HSCs. We suggest future work focus on rangeland management for HSC mitigation, thus ultimately fostering a coexistence between human and snow leopard.
... Livestock mortality caused by wild predators is considered responsible for high economic losses and negative attitudes of affected communities toward them (Bagchi and Mishra, 2006;Chen et al., 2016;Farrington and Tsering, 2019). Our study revealed that weather-related events were the most significant contributors to livestock losses and people exhibited a positive attitude toward wild predators despite livestock depredation at our study site. ...
Article
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Livestock depredation by large carnivores is a significant source of conflicts over predators and an important conservation and economic concern. Preventing livestock loss to wild predators is a substantial focus of human-carnivore conflict mitigation programs. A key assumption of the preventive strategy is reduction in the livestock losses leading to a positive shift in the attitudes toward predators. Therefore, it is important to quantify the true extent of livestock mortality caused by wild predators and its influence on attitudes of the affected communities. We examined seasonal and spatial patterns of livestock mortality and factors influencing people's attitudes toward wild predators i.e., snow leopards ( Panthera uncia ) and wolves ( Canis lupus chanco) and free-ranging dogs ( Canis lupus familiaris) in a Trans-Himalayan urbanizing landscape in India. We used systematic sampling to select the survey households and implemented a semi-structured questionnaire to respondents. The sampled villages ( n = 16) represent a mosaic of urban and agricultural ecosystems within a radius of 40 km of Leh town. In 2016–2017, 93% of the sampled households lost livestock to predators, accounting for 0.93 animals per household per year. However, of the total events of livestock mortality, 33% were because of weather/natural events, 24% by snow leopards, 20% because of disease, 15% because of free-ranging dogs and 9% because of wolves. The annual economic loss per household because of livestock mortality was USD 371, a substantial loss given the average per capita income of USD 270 in the region. Of the total loss, weather/natural events caused highest loss of USD 131 (35%), followed by snow leopards USD 91 (25%), disease USD 87 (24%), free ranging dogs USD 48 (13%), and wolves USD 14 (4%). Despite losing a considerable proportion of livestock (33 %) to wild predators, respondents showed a positive attitude toward them but exhibited neutral attitudes toward free-ranging dogs. Gender emerged as the most important determinant of attitudes toward wild predators, with men showing higher positive attitude score toward wild predators than women. Our findings highlight the context specific variation in human-wildlife interactions and emphasize that generalizations must be avoided in the absence of site specific evidence.
... The depredation of valuable livestock by snow leopard deprives poor livestock owners of the primary and sometimes only source of income [44]. Retaliatory killings occur when the local community directly shoots or indirectly poisons the animals [50,51]. Ancillary unanticipated killings also occur, resulting from guidelines such as Chinese pest control policies that allow small mammals like the plateau Pika to be poisoned, which can be a source of poison to snow leopards [5]. ...
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Citation: Sultan, H.; Rashid, W.; Shi, J.; Rahim, I.u.; Nafees, M.; Bohnett, E.; Rashid, S.; Khan, M.T.; Shah, I.A.; Han, H.; et al. Horizon Scan of Transboundary Concerns Impacting Snow Leopard Landscapes in Asia. Land 2022, 11, 248. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020248
... Both non-monetary and monetary mechanisms, the latter including compensation and insurance, revenue sharing, and conservation payments, have been adopted to facilitate the conservation of carnivores and local economic well-being (Dickman et al., 2011). However, impractical compensation mechanisms-the difficult verification of depredation, lengthy application procedures, paltry compensation standards, and inefficient operational resource allocation-have plagued many conservation programs (Chen et al., 2016). ...
Article
Communities in and around protected areas are exposed to a higher level of human-wildlife interactions. The conservation practice with persistently adverse local livelihood outcomes can potentially aggravate such interactions leading to conflict. In our study, we examined how perceptions of HWC have formed in a protected area of the Trans-Himalayas whose conservation program collides with a centuries-long tradition of trans-humance pastoralism. To examine determinants of depredation and how conflict perception has developed there, along with the socioeconomic and ecological interactions underlying those trends, we collected data using household surveys, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions. We employed Poisson-logit maximum-likelihood hurdle, binary logit, and multinomial ordered logit regressions in order to explore the determinants of annual livestock depredation, predator attacks on the shed, and household-level perceptions of HWC, respectively. Depredation and encounters with wildlife were the principal causes of perceived HWC, and depredation caused an average household-level loss of US $422.5, up to 23.28% of annual income in some households. Predators' attacks on high-quality sheds were relatively infrequent but more common in areas with perceived habitat degradation. Social customs, pastoral practices, and the present compensation mechanism were identified as being antithetical to conflict reduction and sustainable pastureland management. Further analysis revealed that a diversity of livelihoods, however, lowered conflict perception formation. The identified socio-ecological factors will continue to increase depredation, exacerbate perceived HWC, and degrade pastureland unless local conservation authorities take appropriate remedial measures.
Article
Colour vision — the ability to discriminate spectral differences irrespective of variations in intensity — has two basic requirements: (1) photoreceptors with different spectral sensitivities, and (2) neural comparison of signals from these photoreceptors. Major progress has been made understanding the evolution of the basic stages of colour vision–opsin pigments, screening pigments, and the first neurons coding chromatic opponency, and similarities between mammals and insects point to general mechanisms. However, much work is still needed to unravel full colour pathways in various animals. While primates may have brain regions entirely dedicated to colour coding, animals with small brains, such as insects, likely combine colour information directly in parallel multisensory pathways controlling various behaviours.
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We investigated whether the spruce seed moth (Cydia strobilella L., Tortricidae: Grapholitini), an important pest in seed orchards of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.), can make use of the spectral properties of its host when searching for flowers to oviposit on. Spectral measurements showed that the flowers, and the cones they develop into, differ from a background of P. abies needles by a higher reflectance of long wavelengths. These differences increase as the flowers develop into mature cones. Electroretinograms (ERGs) in combination with spectral adaptation suggest that C. strobilella has at least three spectral types of photoreceptor; an abundant green-sensitive receptor with maximal sensitivity at wavelength λmax = 526 nm, a blue-sensitive receptor with λmax = 436 nm, and an ultraviolet-sensitive receptor with λmax = 352 nm. Based on our spectral measurements and the receptor properties inferred from the ERGs, we calculated that open flowers, which are suitable oviposition sites, provide detectable achromatic, but almost no chromatic contrasts to the background of needles. In field trials using traps of different spectral properties with or without a female sex pheromone lure, only pheromone-baited traps caught moths. Catches in baited traps were not correlated with the visual contrast of the traps against the background. Thus, visual contrast is probably not the primary cue for finding open host flowers, but it could potentially complement olfaction as a secondary cue, since traps with certain spectral properties caught significantly more moths than others.
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Butterfly eyes are random mosaics built of three ommatidia types, each with a different set of photoreceptors and pigments. What defines the combined features in each ommatidium? A new study has solved the puzzle.
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Little is known about the status of the snow leopard Panthera uncia in Qomolangma National Nature Reserve, located on the northern aspect of Mount Everest in Tibet. To address this, during May–September we conducted line transects, camera trapping, household interviews, and socioeconomic statistics analysis. We surveyed transects and located putative snow leopard signs, with a mean density of . sign sites km–, . signs km–, and . scrapes km–. We set camera traps and recorded a minimum of seven individual snow leopards. Our results were comparable to snow leopard abundance estimates for neighbouring protected areas in Nepal. Semi-structured interviews with (%) households found that local people were generally supportive of snow leopard conservation, for a variety of economic, legislative, and religious reasons. The socio-economic situation in the Reserve underwent dramatic changes between and . The human population increased by .%, the livestock population decreased by .%, the number of tourists in was . times greater than in , and the local gross domestic product underwent an annual increase of %. We discuss the current threats to snow leopards, and recommend that more rigorous, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary research be undertaken to provide an evidential basis for the formulation of effective conservation policies and programmes.
Article
In April 2006, the authors conducted a preliminary human-wildlife conflict survey of 300 livestock herders in Shainza, Nyima, and Tsonyi Counties in northern Tibet's sparsely-populated Chang Tang region. This survey revealed a widespread but previously undocumented problem of snow leopard predation on livestock. In June and July 2007, an exploratory human-snow leopard conflict survey of 234 herders in the above counties found that 65.8% of respondents had experienced conflict with snow leopards in the form of livestock kills, with 77.3% of the most recent incidents occurring in the previous five years. These incidents were concentrated in winter and spring and a surprising 39.6% of incidents occurred during the day, often with herders present. Fifteen exploratory snow leopard sign transects totaling 14.85 km were conducted. Abundant snow leopard scrapes as well as pug marks were found, confirming the presence of these secretive cats. A total of 521 blue sheep were counted on and off sign transects indicating widespread availability of wild snow leopard prey. The recent surge in reported snow leopard conflict is likely due to increasing human and livestock populations, establishment of two multiple-use nature reserves accompanied by improved enforcement of wildlife protection laws, and a regional gun and trap ban launched in 2001. However, retaliatory killing of snow leopards in the survey area continues to be a potential threat. Therefore, measures are needed to reduce livestock kills by snow leopards, including corral improvements, improved guarding, establishment of livestock compensation schemes, and educating herders about snow leopard behavior.
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Color vision relies on the ability to discriminate different wavelengths and is often improved in insects that inhabit well-lit, spectrally rich environments. Although the Opsin proteins themselves are sensitive to specific wavelength ranges, other factors can alter and further restrict the sensitivity of photoreceptors to allow for finer color discrimination and thereby more informed decisions while interacting with the environment. The ability to discriminate colors differs between insects that exhibit different life styles, between female and male eyes of the same species, and between regions of the same eye, depending on the requirements of intraspecific communication and ecological demands.
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Understanding the impact of livestock on native wildlife is of increasing conservation relevance. For the Vulnerable snow leopard Panthera uncia , wild prey reduction, intensifying human–wildlife conflicts and retaliatory killings are severe threats potentially exacerbated by the presence of livestock. Elucidating patterns of co-occurrence of snow leopards, wild ungulate prey, and livestock, can be used to assess the compatibility of pastoralism with conservation. We used camera trapping to study the interactions of livestock, Siberian ibex Capra sibirica and snow leopards in a national park in the Altai mountains, Mongolia. We obtained 494 detections of wild mammals and 912 of domestic ungulates, dogs and humans. Snow leopards and Siberian ibex were recorded 14 and 33 times, respectively. Co-occurrence modelling showed that livestock had a higher estimated occupancy (0.65) than ibex, whose occupancy was lower in the presence of livestock (0.11) than in its absence (0.34–0.35 depending on scenarios modelled). Snow leopard occupancy did not appear to be affected by the presence of livestock or ibex but the robustness of such inference was limited by uncertainty around the estimates. Although our sampling at presumed snow leopard passing sites may have led to fewer ibex detections, results indicate that livestock may displace wild ungulates, but may not directly affect the occurrence of snow leopards. Snow leopards could still be threatened by livestock, as overstocking can trigger human–carnivore conflicts and hamper the conservation of large carnivores. Further research is needed to assess the generality and strength of our results.
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Livestock depredation by large carnivores is an important conservation and economic concern and conservation management would benefit from a better understanding of spatial variation and underlying causes of depredation events. Focusing on the endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia and the wolf Canis lupus, we identify the ecological factors that predispose areas within a landscape to livestock depredation. We also examine the potential mismatch between reality and human perceptions of livestock depredation by these carnivores whose survival is threatened due to persecution by pastoralists. We assessed the distribution of the snow leopard, wolf and wild ungulate prey through field surveys in the 4000 km2 Upper Spiti Landscape of trans-Himalayan India. We interviewed local people in all 25 villages to assess the distribution of livestock and peoples' perceptions of the risk to livestock from these carnivores. We monitored village-level livestock mortality over a 2-year period to assess the actual level of livestock depredation. We quantified several possibly influential independent variables that together captured variation in topography, carnivore abundance and abundance and other attributes of livestock. We identified the key variables influencing livestock depredation using multiple logistic regressions and hierarchical partitioning. Our results revealed notable differences in livestock selectivity and ecological correlates of livestock depredation – both perceived and actual – by snow leopards and wolves. Stocking density of large-bodied free-ranging livestock (yaks and horses) best explained people's threat perception of livestock depredation by snow leopards, while actual livestock depredation was explained by the relative abundance of snow leopards and wild prey. In the case of wolves, peoples' perception was best explained by abundance of wolves, while actual depredation by wolves was explained by habitat structure. Synthesis and applications. Our results show that (i) human perceptions can be at odds with actual patterns of livestock depredation, (ii) increases in wild prey populations will intensify livestock depredation by snow leopards, and prey recovery programmes must be accompanied by measures to protect livestock, (iii) compensation or insurance programmes should target large-bodied livestock in snow leopard habitats and (iv) sustained awareness programmes are much needed, especially for the wolf.
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Summary • Human–wildlife conflict is an emerging issue in global conservation. The expansion of human activities throughout the world, combined with restoration of wildlife populations, has led to increased contact and greater conflict between people and wildlife. • The mitigation of human–wildlife conflict requires ecological research, social research, and dialogue between scientists, stakeholders and policy-makers to guide management. However, conflict mitigation may be politically sensitive, particularly when legal issues are involved and human livelihoods are at stake. In such cases, political pressures may override scientific evidence. • Conflicts over predator management are particularly revealing about the roles of science and politics in the mitigation of human–wildlife conflict. We focus in detail on one well-studied conflict between raptor conservation and grouse management in the UK. Research has demonstrated: (i) there is widespread illegal killing of raptors; (ii) raptor predation can limit grouse populations and reduce hunting revenues; and (iii) mitigation techniques are available but are either unacceptable to stakeholders or unproven in the field. • Despite the scientific advances, mitigation of this conflict has been slow. We explore the scientific, political and social barriers to finding a sustainable solution. We suggest that the entrenched positions of stakeholders are the main barrier to progress. We propose a way forward that, if successful, would lead to a win–win situation for raptor conservation and grouse management. • Synthesis and applications. The mitigation of human–wildlife conflict requires evidence-based management. Scientific evidence is insufficient, however, if the political will is lacking to find solutions. Mitigation of the conflict between raptors and grouse requires both natural and social science research and the recognition that compromises are required to achieve sustainable solutions. These lessons apply equally to human–wildlife conflict situations elsewhere.
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Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a conservation concern that increasingly threatens the continued existence of some of the world's most endangered species. With an increase in human population, urban sprawl and subsequent encroachment on wild land, human and wildlife interaction has become inevitable. In the majority of cases, this interaction results in a negative outcome for humans, wildlife or both. In China, these key elements, along with a decrease in wild prey species, have resulted in the expansion of HWC encounters, and the need for alleviating this conflict has become a conservation priority. Loss of human life, livestock and/or crops is most often the catalysts that fuel HWC. Techniques to alleviate conflict around the world have included preventative measures and mitigation techniques, such as financial compensation and other incentive programs. Both types of measures have had variable success. We review the current status of human-carnivore conflict management in China, and, drawing lessons from around the globe, we make recommendations for improving conservation management in China. For example, an increase in law enforcement in nature reserves is vital to reducing human disturbance in prime carnivore habitat, thereby reducing conflict encounters. Also, modifications to current wildlife compensation programs, so that they are linked with preventative measures, will ensure that moral hazards are avoided. Furthermore, investigating the potential for a community self-financed insurance scheme to fund compensation and increasing efforts to restore wild prey populations will improve the outcome for wildlife conservation. Ultimately, HWC management in China will greatly benefit from an integrative approach.
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The Digital Elevation Model that has been derived from the February 2000 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) has been one of the most important publicly available new spatial data sets in recent years. However, the 'finished' grade version of the data (also referred to as Version 2) still contains data voids (some 836,000 km 2)—and other anomalies—that prevent immediate use in many applications. These voids can be filled using a range of interpolation algorithms in conjunction with other sources of elevation data, but there is little guidance on the most appropriate void-filling method. This paper describes: (i) a method to fill voids using a variety of interpolators, (ii) a method to determine the most appropriate void-filling algorithms using a classification of the voids based on their size and a typology of their surrounding terrain; and (iii) the classification of the most appropriate algorithm for each of the 3,339,913 voids in the SRTM data. Based on a sample of 1304 artificial but realistic voids across six terrain types and eight void size classes, we found that the choice of void-filling algorithm is dependent on both the size and terrain type of the void. Contrary to some previous findings, the best methods can be generalised as: kriging or inverse distance weighting interpolation for small and medium size voids in relatively flat low-lying areas; spline interpolation for small and medium-sized voids in high-altitude and dissected terrain; triangular irregular network or inverse distance weighting interpolation for large voids in very flat areas, and an advanced spline method (ANUDEM) for large voids in other terrains.
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Human–carnivore conflict is considered to be a major conservation and rural livelihood issue because many carnivore species have been heavily persecuted due to elevated conflict levels with communities. To mitigate such conflicts requires a firm understanding of their underlying patterns. This situation is epitomized in Pakistan, where carnivore populations have been greatly reduced, but where no research has investigated the conflict patterns of large carnivore guilds with humans. Focusing in and around Machiara National Park (MNP), Azad Jammu and Kashmir region, we conducted the first such scientific study in Pakistan. From January 2004 to May 2007, 148 people lost their livestock to four carnivore species. Leopard was responsible for the majority (90.6%) of the 363 livestock killed, mainly goats (57.3%) and sheep (27.8%). Information-theoretic evaluation of a candidate set of regression models found that leopard kills inside villages were significantly higher for areas without electricity, while leopard kills outside villages were higher for pastoralists with larger herds that were further from MNP, with no effect from several guarding strategies used. Temporal leopard attacks were significantly and positively related to temperature, but not to rainfall, for goat kills, but not for other livestock kills. While leopard kills caused the greatest overall financial loss (19.8%) amongst carnivores, which negatively affected local tolerance towards leopard, disease caused greater livestock losses (72.7%). To improve both large carnivore and local livelihood prospects around MNP and across rural Pakistan, conservation and development projects should install village electricity supplies and vaccinate livestock, while the cost-effectiveness of different conflict mitigation strategies should be trialed.
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Public attitudes towards snow leopard Panthera uncia predation of domestic livestock were investigated by a questionnaire survey of four villages in snow leopard habitat within the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Most local inhabitants were subsistence farmers, many dependent upon yaks, oxen, horses and goats, with an average livestock holding of 26.6 animals per household. Reported losses to snow leopards averaged 0.6 and 0.7 animals per household in two years of study, constituting 2.6% of total stockholding but representing in monetary terms almost a quarter of the average annual Nepali national per capita income. Local people held strongly negative attitudes towards snow leopards and most suggested that total extermination of leopards was the only acceptable solution to the predation problem. Snow leopards were reported to be killed by herdsmen in defence of their livestock. The long-term success of snow leopard conservation programmes may depend upon the satisfactory resolution of the predation conflict. Some possible ways of reducing predation losses are also discussed.
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Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory persecution by pastoralists are worldwide conservation concerns. Poor understanding of the ecological and social underpinnings of this human¿wildlife conflict hampers effective conflict management programs. The endangered snow leopard Uncia uncia is involved in conflict with people across its mountainous range in South and Central Asia, where pastoralism is the predominant land use, and is widely persecuted in retaliation. We examined human-snow leopard conflict at two sites in the Spiti region of the Indian Trans-Himalaya, where livestock outnumber wild ungulates, and the conflict is acute. We quantified the snow leopard's dependence on livestock by assessing its diet in two sites that differed in the relative abundance of livestock and wild ungulates. We also surveyed the indigenous Buddhist community's attitudes towards the snow leopard in these two sites. Our results show a relatively high dependence of snow leopards on livestock. A higher proportion of the snow leopard's diet (58%) was livestock in the area with higher livestock (29.7 animals km¿2) and lower wild ungulate abundance (2.1¿3.1 bharal Pseudois nayaur km¿2), compared with 40% of diet in the area with relatively lower livestock (13.9 km¿2) and higher wild ungulate abundance (4.5¿7.8 ibex Capra ibex km¿2). We found that the community experiencing greater levels of livestock losses was comparatively more tolerant towards the snow leopard. This discrepancy is explained by the presence of a conservation-incentive program at the site, and by differences in economic roles of livestock between these two communities. The former is more dependent on cash crops as a source of income while the latter is more dependent on livestock, and thereby less tolerant of the snow leopard. These data have implications for conflict management strategies. They indicate that the relative densities of livestock and wild prey may be reasonable predictors of the extent of predation by the snow leopard. However, this by itself is not an adequate measure of the intensity of conflict even in apparently similar cultural settings.
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In Power and Society, Harold D. Lasswell collaborates with a brilliant young philosopher, Abraham Kaplan, to formulate basic theoretical concepts and hypotheses of political science, providing a framework for further inquiry into the political process. This is a classic book of political theory written by two of the most influential social scientists of the twentieth century.The authors find their subject matter in interpersonal relations, not abstract institutions or organizations, and their analysis of power is related to human values. They argue that revolution is a part of the political process, and ideology has a role in political affairs. The importance of class, both as social fact and social symbol, is reflected in their detailed analysis, and emphasis on merit rather than rank, skill rather than status, as keystones of democratic rule.The authors note that power is only one of the values and instruments manifested in interpersonal relations; it cannot be understood in abstraction from other values. Lasswell and Kaplan call for the replacement of “power politics,” both in theory and in practice, by a conception in which attention is focused on the human consequences of power as the major concern of both political thought and political action. The basic discussions of core concepts in political science make Power and Society of continuing importance to scholars, government officials, and politicians.
Article
Over the past decade important advances have been made toward addressing human-wildlife conflict associated with the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia). Engaging and motivating stakeholders through more participatory protocols remains a vital ingredient toward the design, implementation, and of monitoring robust, long-lasting, and locally adapted solutions that stress the community’s collective and positive visions for the change. Co-existence with this predator can be best achieved by empowering rural communities and helping them forge more harmonious and eco-centric relationships with their environment, one in which snow leopards are perceived as valued assets rather than pests to be eliminated. The Global Snow Leopard Environmental Plan endorsed in 2013 by all 12 snow leopard range countries offers a possible blueprint for this transformational process to take place. The major challenge rests with securing the necessary financing and the scaling up of remedial interventions to landscape levels across the range states.
Article
It is necessary to fully understand the economic conditions of local herders in order to find solutions to the conflicts between wildlife conservation and livestock rearing in remote areas of low-income countries. In the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA), Nepal, livestock depredation by snow leopards impacts on yak herders' livelihoods. Retaliatory killings of snow leopard by the herders have been reported and the concerned authorities recently initiated snow leopard conservation programmes. In 2001, interviews with the yak herders who used the pastures in the Ghunsa valley in the preceding year collected data on the incidence of livestock death caused by snow leopards. The annual net cash income of the yak herders was estimated by obtaining baseline values of sales and expenditure per livestock head through field measurement of dairy products and interviews with a sample of herders. As yet, the average annual damage does not appear to have adversely affected fundamental livelihoods in households with an average herd size (36.6 head). However, in the worst scenario of livestock depredation, households with medium or small-sized herds (<40 head) might risk their living conditions becoming unsustainable or having to withdraw from yak pastoralism. A supplementary interview showed that the majority of the herders, except those who took completely neutral attitudes towards the regional conservation and development programme, had negative views of the snow leopard conservation policy. For the snow leopard conservation programme in the KCA to be a success, there must be a system to compensate the herders' households for livestock damage.
Article
This paper first reviews the implementation literature of the past fifteen years, with particular emphasis on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches. It also argues that the 4–6 year time-frame used in most implementation research misses many critical features of public policy-making. The paper then outlines a conceptual framework for examining policy change over a 10–20 year period which combines the best features of the ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches with insights from other literatures.
Article
Carnivore conservation depends on the sociopolitical landscape as much as the biological landscape. Changing political attitudes and views of nature have shifted the goals of carnivore management from those based on fear and narrow economic interests to those based on a better understanding of ecosystem function and adaptive management. In parallel, aesthetic and scientific arguments against lethal control techniques are encouraging the development of nonlethal approaches to carnivore management. We anticipate greater success in modifying the manner and frequency with which the activities of humans and domestic animals intersect with those of carnivores. Success should permit carnivore populations to persist for decades despite human population growth and modification of habitat.Resumen: La conservación de carnívoros depende tanto del paisaje sociopolítico como del paisaje biológico. Cambios en las actitudes políticas y percepciones de la naturaleza han cambiado las metas de manejo de carnívoros de aquéllas basadas en el miedo y las intereses económicos estrechos a metas basadas en un mejor entendimiento del funcionamiento del ecosistema y en el manejo adaptativo. A su vez, los argumentos estéticos y científicos en contra de las técnicas de control letal están fomentando el desarrollo de planteamientos no letales en la gestión de carnívoros. Anticipamos un mayor éxito en la modificación del modo y la frecuencia en que las actividades de humanos y animales domésticos intersectan con las de carnívoros. El éxito debe permitir que las poblaciones de carnívoros persistan por décadas a pesar del crecimiento de la población humana y la modificación de hábitats.
Article
Human–wildlife conflict is one of the most critical threats facing many wildlife species today, and the topic is receiving increasing attention from conservation biologists. Direct wildlife damage is commonly cited as the main driver of conflict, and many tools exist for reducing such damage. However, significant conflict often remains even after damage has been reduced, suggesting that conflict requires novel, comprehensive approaches for long-term resolution. Although most mitigation studies investigate only the technical aspects of conflict reduction, peoples' attitudes towards wildlife are complex, with social factors as diverse as religious affiliation, ethnicity and cultural beliefs all shaping conflict intensity. Moreover, human–wildlife conflicts are often manifestations of underlying human–human conflicts, such as between authorities and local people, or between people of different cultural backgrounds. Despite evidence that social factors can be more important in driving conflict than wildlife damage incurred, they are often ignored in conflict studies. Developing a broader awareness of conflict drivers will advance understanding of the patterns and underlying processes behind this critical conservation issue. In this paper, I review a wide variety of case studies to show how social factors strongly influence perceptions of human–wildlife conflict, and highlight how mitigation approaches should become increasingly innovative and interdisciplinary in order to enable people to move from conflict towards coexistence.
Article
Terrain ruggedness is often an important variable in wildlife habitat models. Most methods used to quantify ruggedness are indices derived from measures of slope and, as a result, are strongly correlated with slope. Using a Geographic Information System, we developed a vector ruggedness measure (VRM) of terrain based on a geomorphological method for measuring vector dispersion that is less correlated with slope. We examined the relationship of VRM to slope and to 2 commonly used indices of ruggedness in 3 physiographically different mountain ranges within the Mojave Desert of the southwestern United States. We used VRM, slope, distance to water, and springtime bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) adult female locations to model sheep habitat in the 3 ranges. Using logistic regression, we determined that the importance of ruggedness in habitat selection remained consistent across mountain ranges, whereas the relative importance of slope varied according to the characteristic physiography of each range. Our results indicate that the VRM quantifies local variation in terrain more independently of slope than other methods tested, and that VRM and slope distinguish 2 different components of bighorn sheep habitat.
Article
Lions (Panthera leo) are in decline throughout most of their range due to human persecution, largely provoked by depredation on livestock, and there is debate as to the usefulness of financial instruments to mitigate this conflict. Intending to reduce local lion-killing, the Mbirikani Predator Compensation Fund compensates members of Mbirikani Group Ranch for livestock depredation at a flat rate (close to average market value), after the kill has been verified and with penalties imposed for poor husbandry. Despite penalizing claimants, 55% of claims arose because livestock were lost in the bush. Between 1st April 2003 and 31st December 2006, 754 cattle, 80 donkeys and 1844 sheep/goats were killed (2.31% of the total livestock herd each year). Forty-three percent of kills were ascribed to spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta); leopards (Panthera pardus) and cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) were blamed for 37% of cases, lions 7%, jackals (Canis mesomelas) 7% and buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and elephants (Loxodonta africana) together 6%. Significantly more attacks took place during months of lower rainfall but the rate of attacks was not related to the density of livestock on the ranch, or the ratio of wild herbivores to domestic stock. There was no correlation between local market prices and the number of claims per month. Despite compensation, at least one lion per year was killed in 2004, 2005 and 2006. We describe some features of large carnivore depredation in the study area and suggest that regional recovery of the lion population may require compensation on a wider scale.
Article
One of the greatest challenges in biodiversity conservation today is how to facilitate protection of species that are highly valued at a global scale but have little or even negative value at a local scale. Imperiled species such as large predators can impose significant economic costs at a local level, often in poverty-stricken rural areas where households are least able to tolerate such costs, and impede efforts of local people, especially traditional pastoralists, to escape from poverty. Furthermore, the costs and benefits involved in predator conservation often include diverse dimensions, which are hard to quantify and nearly impossible to reconcile with one another. The best chance of effective conservation relies upon translating the global value of carnivores into tangible local benefits large enough to drive conservation "on the ground." Although human-carnivore coexistence involves significant noneconomic values, providing financial incentives to those affected negatively by carnivore presence is a common strategy for encouraging such coexistence, and this can also have important benefits in terms of reducing poverty. Here, we provide a critical overview of such financial instruments, which we term "payments to encourage coexistence"; assess the pitfalls and potentials of these methods, particularly compensation and insurance, revenue-sharing, and conservation payments; and discuss how existing strategies of payment to encourage coexistence could be combined to facilitate carnivore conservation and alleviate local poverty.
Article
Human-tiger (Panthera tigris Linnaeus, 1758) conflicts (HTC), manifested primarily as attacks on people and domestic animals, exacerbate at least 2 major threats to tigers: (i) conflicts often result in mortality or removal of tigers from the wild; and (ii) they result in negative attitudes towards tigers by local people, thereby reducing support for tiger conservation. Although HTC has decreased over the past century, it will likely increase if current and proposed conservation initiatives to double tiger populations are successful. Increased HTC could undermine successful conservation initiatives if proactive steps are not taken to reduce HTC. The present paper provides a review of the impacts of HTC and the measures taken to reduce it in ways that reduce negative impacts on both humans and tigers, and stresses the need for development and implementation of comprehensive plans to reduce HTC.
Snow leopards in the Qomolangma Nature Preserve of the Tibet Autonomous Region
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Large Carnivore Conservation: Integrating Science and Policy in the North American West
  • S G Clark
  • M B Rutherford
Clark, S.G., Rutherford, M.B., 2014. Large carnivores, people, and governance. In: Clark, S.G., Rutherford, M.B. (Eds.), Large Carnivore Conservation: Integrating Science and Policy in the North American West. Chicago University Press, Chicago, pp. 1-28.
Snow leopards in the Qomolangma Nature Preserve of the Tibet Autonomous Region
  • Jackson