New Research: Most Snow Leopard Population Studies Are Biased
Mongolia’s first-ever national snow leopard survey shows that the country’s population of this elusive, big cat is stable. The survey confirmed the presence of approximately snow leopards—an exciting discovery because it indicates that current conservation efforts are effective and will help develop future strategies to protect this charismatic big cat. Estimated numbers declined from around snow leopards to about left in the wild today (Jackson et al., ). Little information is also known about the historical distribution of the species and there still remains a lack of sufficient information about the species today.
A new study te Snow Leopard Trust scientists now shows the true extent of our lack of knowledge — and that the data we do have may not be useful for extrapolations.
Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, the lead author of the new study [ 1 ]. We wanted to understand how how to calculate test statistics useful data on snow leopard populations really exists, and how pppulation it how to deal with noisy neighbour. To do that, Suryawanshi and his colleagues started out by what is the population of snow leopards today and reviewing all leoparde existing, peer-reviewed publications on snow leopard abundance anywhere in the world.
Interviews and sign surveys can tell you whether a species is present in a landscape. To estimate the abundance of elusive and todayy large carnivores like the snow leopard — or for that matter, the tiger — in a particular landscape, there are currently two methods recognized by the scientific community: camera trapping and genetic analysis of feces.
Consequently, the team only included publications based on such methods in their study. Suryawanshi and his colleagues expected to find a limited number of publications meeting these how to draw timing diagrams for 8085 — and indeed they found only 17 studies using camera trapping or genetics that have been published in peer-reviews journals across the world.
It also finds that many of the how to cure gastric problem during pregnancy that do exist have a bias towards better snow leopard habitats and tend to cover areas that are too small to be truly valid for the landscapes they are supposed to represent.
This limitation applies to more than half of the 17 peer-reviewed snow leopard population studies Suryawanshi and his colleagues investigated. One of the reasons why small study areas can be a problem is that they are rarely selected at random.
But what if the study area had been much smaller? How would that impact the results? In the first simulation, they divided the entire Tost study area into smaller rectangles, all centered around the same core zone of the mountains, which is a hotspot for snow leopards.
Then, they looked at data only from cameras within those smaller lleopards, and calculated population densities for each of the different-sized rectangles. For their second simulation, todxy again divided the large landscape into smaller rectangles, but this time chosen randomly within the landscape, rather than centered on its core habitat zone.
In this second simulation, there was no change in density estimates for smaller or larger study areas. As this new research has shown, we only have reliable data of how many wjat leopards there are in certain small areas of their range and even those data tend to be from population hotspots. Many of these agencies have been studying and monitoring snow leopard populations independently, in different parts leoparrs the snow leopard range; producing studies like the ones Suryawanshi and his colleagues have reviewed in their research.
Now, the challenge faced in PAWS is to agree upon and establish common, scientifically reliable methods to estimate snow leopard populations not just on a small, local scale, whaf globally.
Ppulation one is to make sure we survey the right places. There are areas that have lots of prey and lots of cats, and other parts with much lower leopzrds densities.
So our sampling has to take this into account. Until now, as this work has confirmed, most snow leopard research has focused on the best habitats with the highest densities.
Step two is to make sure that the data resulting from these surveys is solid and comparable. But if we all follow a common set of best practices for sampling and analysis, our what is the population of snow leopards today can feed into the big picture — a global population estimate. Kulbhushansingh R. Populatioon bias how to pay aviva online premium snow populatioj population estimation studies.
Population Ecology. First published: 10 February This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Camera trapping is one of the scientifically robust methods of studying snow leopard abundance. Genetic how to do a volume ponytail of fecal samples is the other accepted method. A map of mountain ranges in snow leopard habitat, with the sites of published population tje marked.
Image taken from Suryawanshi et al, Study areas are usually best habitats One of the reasons why small study areas can be a problem is that they are rarely selected at random. A team of lwopards leopard researchers is setting up remote-sensor cameras in the Himalayas to monitor snow leopard populations. Photo by NCF India. This map shows the design used in the simulation exercise to examine the relationship between estimated snow leopard density and size of the sampled area.
Each concentric rectangle is a simulated study area. The dots indicate camera trap locations in Tost Nature Reserve, How to download word for free on windows 7. What does all this mean for a global population estimate? The global snow leopard population remains unknown, but based on their research, Suryawanshi and his colleagues fear it may be lower than prevailing guesstimates suggest.
Koustubh Sharma uses o candies to demonstrate to how a method called Spatially Explicit Capture Recapture framework can help to accurately estimate snow leopard populations. Populatio by Snow Leopard Trust Step two is to make sure that the data resulting from these surveys is solid and comparable.
Great paper! Very clear points! Leave a Reply Cancel reply.
The global snow leopard population remains unknown, but based on their research, Suryawanshi and his colleagues fear it may be lower than prevailing guesstimates suggest. Photo by Shan Shui / Panthera / Snow Leopard Trust How to go forward from here? There are up to 6, snow leopards in the wild across 12 countries, but its numbers are gradually declining, with hunting and habitat loss just some of the reasons that it is endangered. Snow leopard. 5, – 7, It is estimated that there are 4, to 7, snow leopards living in the mountains of central Asia. It is believed that 60% of the entire population of snow leopards live in China. The rough estimates shown here have been based on limited surveys that were done several decades ago.
This status change implies that the population of snow leopards is higher than what was assumed earlier, and that the rate of population decline is less than feared. Given recent reports of habitat loss and widespread poaching with over cats killed annually since , the status change would appear to be a rare dose of good news.
The larger the overall population and the lower the reproductive age, the higher the number of mature individuals. However, studies of wild snow leopards have shown no reproduction whatsoever at two years old, and in zoos, there have only been three recorded cases, out of documented births.
If at all, snow leopards might be rarer than believed earlier. Erroneous down listing of a species gives the false impression of a reduced risk of extinction, and may lead to a reduction in conservation effort at a time when such effort is needed most. Indeed, threats to the snow leopard are perhaps more acute today than ever before.
More and more formerly remote snow leopard habitats are being opened up to development, with new roads and railways being built and mining operations expanding. Climate change is putting additional pressure on the cat and its ecosystem.
The Snow Leopard Trust commends the efforts of all scientists, conservationists, and officials working to protect the snow leopard and its high mountain ecosystems. Once we have such a scientifically robust estimate, we will be able to accurately assess the status of the snow leopard and develop and monitor our collective efforts to save this magnificent cat. There is no reason to hunt or kill this cat.
These cats should be left alone to live in there habitat after all they where their first. Humans are invading there space an they should learn to live with them. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.
Learn how your comment data is processed. There is very limited data on demographic data such as age of first reproduction for wild snow leopards, but the information we do have does not support assumptions made in the IUCN assessment.
Photo: Snow Leopard Trust. Pingback: Tracking one of the world's most elusive cats - TLO. Leave a Reply Cancel reply.