Mapping Attack Risk Hotspots to Mitigate Human-Snow Leopard Conflict in Nepal Himalayas
Goal: Develop livestock depredation risks maps and use them as a tool to guide livestock grazing management to reduce livestock depredation by snow leopards
Livestock depredation by snow leopard is a primary source of conflict with humans. This causes substantial losses to herders and often results in retaliatory killing of snow leopards, which threatens their survival across Central Asia and the Himalayas. Innovative and practical tools are thus needed to more directly mitigate human-snow leopard conflicts and conserve this endangered species.
One of the most cost effective and efficient solutions to reduce human-snow leopard conflict would be to use a predation risk modelling approach to identify locations where snow leopard is most likely to kill livestock in a landscape based on previous kill site data and avoid livestock losses to snow leopard by adapting livestock grazing on areas where snow leopard is less likely to kill. Risk models also produce visual maps of the gradient of livestock depredation (predation risk maps) and can be used as a tool to assist communities and managers in guiding livestock grazing. This project aims to develop livestock depredation risk maps that can help herders visualize the gradient of livestock depredation risk and adapt livestock grazing to reduce their livestock losses to snow leopard. The project also aims to work with stakeholders to explore the ways to integrate risk maps into conflict management decision making process and build their capacity to use risk maps as a human-snow leopard conflict management tool.
Goal: Obtain the baseline information on population distribution, abundance and prey base for snow leopards
We are conducting detection-non detection survey of snow leopard signs to understand spatial distribution of snow leopard populations. We aim to assess the ecological and anthropogenic determinants of fine scale distribution of snow leopard populations. We have been able to collect baseline information on snow leopard distribution, blue sheep population and local people’s perception towards snow leopard conservation. Building upon the results of this project, we aim to continue monitoring of snow leopard population using camera trapping survey. We also plan to continue building capacity of local youths and frontline staffs of the Api Nampa Conservation Area (ANCA) on snow leopard monitoring techniques, which will enable the ANCA authority to collaborate with local community and initiate community based citizen science approach to long term monitoring and conservation of snow leopards and other wildlife in the study area.