Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

On the high trail: examining determinants of site use by the Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia in Qilianshan, China

  • Justine S. Alexander (a1), Kun Shi (a1), Lucy A. Tallents (a2) and Philip Riordan (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

There is a need for simple and robust techniques for assessment and monitoring of populations of the Endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia to inform the development of action plans for snow leopard conservation. We explored the use of occupancy modelling to evaluate the influence of environmental and anthropogenic features on snow leopard site-use patterns. We conducted a camera trap survey across 480 km2 in Gansu Province, China, and used data from 60 camera traps to estimate probabilities of site use and detection using the single season occupancy model. We assessed the influence of three covariates on site use by snow leopards: elevation, the presence of blue sheep Pseudois nayaur and the presence of human disturbance (distance to roads). We recorded 76 captures of snow leopards over 2,906 trap-days, representing a mean capture success of 2.62 captures per 100 trap-days. Elevation had the strongest influence on site use, with the probability of site use increasing with altitude, whereas the influence of presence of prey and distance to roads was relatively weak. Our findings indicate the need for practical and robust techniques to appraise determinants of site use by snow leopards, especially in the context of the limited resources available for such work.

Copyright
Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail kunshi@bjfu.edu.cn
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. Alexander , P. Chen , P. Damerell , W. Youkui , J. Hughes , K. Shi & P. Riordan (2015a) Human wildlife conflict involving large carnivores in Qilianshan, China and the minimal paw-print of snow leopards. Biological Conservation, 187, 19.

J. Alexander , A.M. Gopalaswamy , K Shi . & P. Riordan (2015b) Face value: towards robust estimates of snow leopard densities. PLoS ONE, 10(8), e0134815.

L.L. Bailey , J.E. Hines , J.D. Nichols & D.I. MacKenzie (2007) Sampling design trade-offs in occupancy studies with imperfect detection: examples and software. Ecological Applications, 17, 281290.

S.M. Barber-Meyer , S.R. Jnawali , J.B. Karki , P. Khanal , S. Lohani , B. Long (2013) Influence of prey depletion and human disturbance on tiger occupancy in Nepal. Journal of Zoology, 289, 1018.

C.F. Dormann , J. Elith , S. Bacher , C. Buchmann , G. Carl , G. Carré (2013) Collinearity: a review of methods to deal with it and a simulation study evaluating their performance. Ecography, 36, 2746.

J.L. Fox , S.P. Sinha , R.S. Chundawat & P.K. Das (1991) Status of the snow leopard Panthera uncia in northwest India. Biological Conservation, 55, 283298.

A.M. Gopalaswamy (2013) Spatially explicit capture recapture methods. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. Http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9780470057339.vnn139

J.E. Janečka , R. Jackson , Z. Yuquang , L. Diqiang , B. Munkhtsog , V. Buckley-Beason & W.J. Murphy (2008) Population monitoring of snow leopards using noninvasive collection of scat samples: a pilot study. Animal Conservation, 11, 401411.

J.B. Johnson & K.S. Omland (2004) Model selection in ecology and evolution. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 19, 101108.

K.U. Karanth , J.D. Nichols , N.S. Kumar , W.A. Link & J.E. Hines (2004) Tigers and their prey: predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101, 48544858.

K.U. Karanth , A.M. Gopalaswamy , N.S. Kumar , S. Vaidyanathan , J.D. Nichols & D.I. MacKenzie (2011) Monitoring carnivore populations at the landscape scale: occupancy modelling of tigers from sign surveys. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48, 10481056.

M. Linkie , G. Chapron , D.J. Martyr , J. Holden & N. Leader-Williams (2006) Assessing the viability of tiger subpopulations in a fragmented landscape. Journal of Applied Ecology, 43, 576586.

D.I. Mackenzie (2006) Modeling the probability of resource use: the effect of, and dealing with, detecting a species imperfectly. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 70, 367374.

M. Linkie , Y. Dinata , A. Nugroho & I.A. Haidir (2007) Estimating occupancy of a data deficient mammalian species living in tropical rainforests: sun bears in the Kerinci Seblat region, Sumatra. Biological Conservation, 137, 2027.

D.I. MacKenzie & L.L. Bailey (2004) Assessing the fit of site-occupancy models. Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics, 9, 300318.

D.I. MacKenzie , J.D. Nichols , G.B. Lachman , S. Droege , J.A. Royle & C.A. Langtimm (2002) Estimating site occupancy rates when detection probabilities are less than one. Ecology, 83, 22482255.

T.M. McCarthy , T.K. Fuller & B. Munkhtsog (2005) Movements and activities of snow leopards in Southwestern Mongolia. Biological Conservation, 124, 527537.

D.A. Miller , J.D. Nichols , B.T. McClintock , E.H. Campbell Grant , L.L. Bailey & L.A. Weir (2011) Improving occupancy estimation when two types of observational error occur: non-detection and species misidentification. Ecology, 92, 14221428.

J.D. Nichols , L.L. Bailey , A.F. O‘Connell Jr, N.W. Talancy , E.H. Campbell Grant , A.T. Gilbert (2008) Multi-scale occupancy estimation and modelling using multiple detection methods. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 13211329.

T. Ramesh , R. Kalle , K. Sankar & Q. Qureshi (2013) Dry season factors determining habitat use and distribution of mouse deer (Moschiola indica) in the Western Ghats. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 59, 271280.

J.A. Royle , K.U. Karanth , A.M. Gopalaswamy & N.S. Kumar (2009) Bayesian inference in camera trapping studies for a class of spatial capture–recapture models. Ecology, 90, 32333244.

J.A. Royle & J.D. Nichols (2003) Estimating abundance from repeated presence–absence data or point counts. Ecology, 84, 777790.

R.K. Sharma , Y.V. Bhatnagar & C. Mishra (2015) Does livestock benefit or harm snow leopards? Biological Conservation, 190, 813.

W. Shehzad , T.M. McCarthy , F. Pompanon , L. Purevjav , E. Coissac , T. Riaz & P. Taberlet (2012) Prey preference of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in South Gobi, Mongolia. PLoS ONE, 7(2), e32104.

R. Sollmann , M.M. Furtado , B. Gardner , H. Hofer , A.T.A. Jácomo , N.M. Tôrres & L. Silveira (2011) Improving density estimates for elusive carnivores: accounting for sex-specific detection and movements using spatial capture–recapture models for jaguars in central Brazil. Biological Conservation, 144, 10171024.

A. Srivathsa , K.K. Karanth , D. Jathanna , N.S. Kumar & K.U. Karanth (2014) On a dhole trail: examining ecological and anthropogenic correlates of dhole habitat occupancy in the Western Ghats of India. PLoS ONE, 9(6), e98803.

R. Steinmetz , N. Seuaturien & W. Chutipong (2013) Tigers, leopards, and dholes in a half-empty forest: assessing species interactions in a guild of threatened carnivores. Biological Conservation, 163, 6878.

S. Sunarto , M.J. Kelly , K. Parakkasi , S. Klenzendorf , E. Septayuda & H. Kurniawan (2012) Tigers need cover: multi-scale occupancy study of the big cat in Sumatran forest and plantation landscapes. PLoS ONE, 7(1), e30859.

G. Wang , G. Zhou , L. Yang & Z. Li (2003) Distribution, species diversity and life-form spectra of plant communities along an altitudinal gradient in the northern slopes of Qilianshan Mountains, Gansu, China. Plant Ecology, 165, 169181.

J. Whittington , C.C. St. Clair & G. Mercer (2005) Spatial responses of wolves to roads and trails in mountain valleys. Ecological Applications, 15, 543553.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 39 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 162 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 28th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.