First photographic evidence of Snow Leopard Panthera uncia (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) outside current protected areas network in Nepal Himalaya

Main Article Content

Rinzin Phunjok Lama
Tashi R. Ghale
Madan K. Suwal
Rishi Ranabhat
Ganga Ram Regmi

Abstract

The Snow Leopard Panthera uncia is a rare top predator of high-altitude ecosystems and insufficiently surveyed outside of protected areas in Nepal.  We conducted a rapid camera-trapping survey to assess the presence of Snow Leopard in the Limi valley of Humla District.  Three individuals were recorded in two camera locations offering the first photographic evidence of this elusive cat outside the protected area network of Nepal. In addition to Snow Leopard, the Blue Sheep Pseudois nayaur, Beech Marten Martes foina, Pika Ochotona spp. and different species of birds were also detected by camera-traps.  More extensive surveys and monitoring are needed for reliably estimating the population size of Snow Leopard in the area.  The most urgent needs are community-based conservation activities aimed at mitigating immediate threats of poaching, retaliatory killing, and rapid prey depletion to ensure the survival of this top predator in the Himalaya.

 

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Lama, R.P., Ghale, T.R., Suwal, M.K., Ranabhat, R. and Regmi, G.R. 2018. First photographic evidence of Snow Leopard Panthera uncia (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) outside current protected areas network in Nepal Himalaya. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 10, 8 (Jul. 2018), 12086–12090. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3031.10.8.12086-12090.
Section
Short Communications
Author Biographies

Rinzin Phunjok Lama, • Global Primate Network Nepal, GPO Box 26288, Kathmandu, Nepal • Workgroup on Endangered Species, J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

High-Altitude Wildlife Biologist

Tashi R. Ghale, Global Primate Network Nepal, GPO Box 26288, Kathmandu, Nepal

Field Biologist

Madan K. Suwal, • Global Primate Network Nepal, GPO Box 26288, Kathmandu, Nepal • Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Fosswinckelsgt 6, P B 7802, N - 5020 Bergen, Norway

Spatial Ecologist & GIS Expert

Rishi Ranabhat, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Babarmahal, Kathmandu

Assistant Ecologist

Ganga Ram Regmi, Global Primate Network Nepal, GPO Box 26288, Kathmandu, Nepal

Founder and Executive Director

References

Ale, S.B. (2007). Ecology of the Snow Leopard and the Himalayan Tahr in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) Nationl Park, Nepal. PhD Thesis. University of Illinois, Chicago, 179pp.

Ale, S.B. & J.S. Brown (2009). Prey behavior leads to predator: a case study of the Himalayan Tahr and the Snow Leopard in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Nepal. Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution 55: 315–327.

Ale, S.B., B. Shrestha & R. Jackson (2014). On the status of Snow Leopard Panthera uncia (Schreber, 1775) in Annapurna, Nepal. Journal of Threatened Taxa 6(3): 5534–5543; http://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3635.5534-43

Ale, S.B., P. Yonzon & K. Thapa (2007). Recovery of Snow Leopard Uncia uncia in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Nepal. Oryx 41(1): 89–92; http://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605307001585

Aryal, A., D. Brunton, W. Ji, D. Karmacharya, T. McCarthy, R. Bencini & D. Raubenheimer (2014). Multipronged strategy including genetic analysis for assessing conservation options for the Snow Leopard in the central

Himalaya. Journal of Mammalogy 95(4): 871–881; http://doi.org/10.1644/13-MAMM-A-243

Aryal, A., U.B. Shrestha, W. Ji, S.B. Ale, S. Shrestha, T. Ingty & D. Raubenheimer (2016). Predicting the distributions of predator (Snow Leopard) and prey (Blue Sheep) under climate change in the Himalaya. Ecology and Evolution 6(12): 1–11; http://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2196

Devkota, B.P. (2010). Prey Density and Diet relationship of Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia). Msc Thesis. Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University, Pokhara, 50pp.

FoN (2014). Assessment of Snow Leopard Status and Distribution in Humla and Bajhang districts in Western Complex of Nepal. Report submitted to WWF Nepal Program, Baluwatar, Kathmandu, 60pp.

Jackson, R.M. (1996). Home range, movements and habitat use of Snow Leopard (Uncia Uncia) in Nepal. PhD Thesis, University of London, London, United Kingdom, 233pp.

Jackson, R. & G. Ahlborn (1989). Snow Leopards (Panthera uncia) in Nepal - home range and movements. National Geographic Research and Exploration 5: 161–75.

Jackson, R. & G. Ahlborn (1990). The role of protected areas in Nepal in maintaining viable population of Snow Leopards. International Pedigree Book of Snow Leopard 6: 51–69.

Jackson, R. & D.O. Hunter (1995). Snow Leopard Survey and conservation handbook (First edition). Report, International Snow Leopard Trust, 120pp.

Jackson, R., J.D. Roe, R. Wangchuk & D.O. Hunter (2006). Estimating Snow Leopard population abundance using photography and capture-recapture techniques. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34(3): 772– 781; http://doi.org/10.2193/0091-7648(2006)34[772:ESLPAU]2.0.CO;2

Jenks, K.E., P. Chanteap, D. Kanda, C. Peter, P. Cutter, T. Redford, L. Antony & P. Leimgruber (2011). Using relative abundance indices from camera-trapping to test wildlife conservation hypotheses–an example from Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. Tropical Conservation Science 4(2): 113–131.

Karmacharya, D.B., K. Thapa, R. Shrestha, M. Dhakal & J.E. Janecka (2011). Non-invasive genetic population survey of Snow Leopards (Panthera uncia) in Kangchenjunga conservation area. BMC Research Notes 4: 1–8; http://doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-4-516

Khatiwada J.R., M.K. Chalise & R.C. Kyes (2007). Survey of Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia) and Blue Sheep (Pseudois nayaur) populations in the Kanchenjungha Conservation Area (KCA), Nepal. Final Project Report Submitted to International Snow Leopard Trust, Seattle, USA, 13pp.

Khatiwada, J.R. & Y.P. Ghimirey (2009). Status of Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia) in Humla District, Western Nepal. Scientific World 7: 49–52.

Kyes, R.C. & M.K. Chalise (2005). Assessing the Status of the Snow Leopard Population in Langtang National Park, Nepal. Final Project Report submitted to International Snow Leopard Trust, Seattle, USA, 11pp.

Li, J., D. Wang, H. Yin, D. Zhaxi, Z. Jiagone, G.B. Schaller, C. Mishra, T.M. McCarthy, H. Wang, L. Wu, L. Xiao, L. Basange, Y. Zhang, Y. Zhou & Z. Lu (2014). Role of Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries in Snow Leopard Conservation. Conservation Biology 28(1): 87–94; http://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12135

Oli, M.K. (1991). Ecology and conservation of the Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. MPhil Thesis. University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 197pp.

Sanderson, J. & G. Harris (2013). Automatic data organization, storage, and analysis of camera trap pictures. Journal of Indonesian Natural History 1: 6–14.

Wegge, P., R. Shrestha & Ø. Flagstad (2012). Snow Leopard Panthera uncia predation on livestock and wild prey in a mountain valley in northern Nepal: implications for conservation management. Wildlife Biology 18(2): 131–141; http://doi.org/10.2981/11-049

Werhahn, G., N. Kusi, C. Sillero-Zubiri & D. Macdonald (2017). Conservation implications for the Himalayan Wolf Canis (lupus) himalayensis based on observations of packs and home sites in Nepal. Oryx 1–7; http://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605317001077