SNOW LEOPARD SURVEY AND CONSERVATION ??Snow Leopard Survey and Conservation Handbook. International Snow ... 4–3 Snow leopard tracks in snow at the base of a cliff (Photo: Rodney

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  • SNOW LEOPARDSURVEY AND CONSERVATION HANDBOOK

    International Snow Leopard TrustU.S. Geological Survey

    Biological Resources Division

    The authors recommend the following citation for this document:

    Jackson, Rodney and Hunter, Don O. 1996 (Second Edition). Snow Leopard Survey and ConservationHandbook. International Snow Leopard Trust, Seattle, Washington and U.S. Geological Survey, Fort CollinsScience Center, Colorado. 154 pages + appendices.

    This document consists of three parts:Part I: Introduction (Objectives & Background). 4.4 MB (SL_Survey_Cons_Handbook_Part_1.pdf)Part II: Snow Leopard Survey Methods. 2.2 MB (SL_Survey_Cons_Handbook_Part_2.pdf)Part III: Prey Species, Habitat Assessment, Conservation and Appendices. 1.8 MB (SL_Survey_Cons_Handbook_Part_3..pdf)

  • SNOW LEOPARD SURVEY ANDCONSERVATION HANDBOOK

    Rodney Jackson, Ph.D.International Snow Leopard Trust

    4649 Sunnyside Avenue NorthSeattle, Washington 98103 USA

    Don O. HunterBiological Resources Division

    Midcontinent Ecological Science Center4512 McMurry Avenue

    Fort Collins, Colorado 80525-3400 USA

    Second EditionNovember 1996

    International Snow Leopard Trust

    Cover Photo: Art Wolfe and Helen Freeman

  • ii

    Acknowledgments

    Many persons and organizations contributed to this handbook. Funding was provided bythe International Snow Leopard Trust (ISLT) through a grant from the Leonard X. Bosack andBette M. Kruger Charitable Foundation of Redmond, Washington. Support was also providedby the Messerli Foundation, Switzerland, Mill Pond Press, Florida and the membership ofISLT. Special appreciation is due to the Board of Directors, a strong and active force behindISLT's programs.

    Thanks to Dave Ferguson, Larry Mason, and Steve Kohl of the U.S. Fish and WildlifeService (Office of International Affairs) for providing hardware, technical, and logisticalsupport. The authors and ISLT are especially grateful to Rey C. Stendell, Biological ResourcesDivision, Midcontinent Ecological Science Center, Fort Collins, Colorado, for an especiallyfruitful partnership in all phases of this project.

    Helen Freeman, Founder of ISLT, was the catalyst for the Snow Leopard InformationManagement System (SLIMS) and played a major role in its development as part of ProjectSnow Leopard. The standard field techniques evolved from research in Nepal conducted byRodney Jackson, Gary Ahlborn, and Karan B. Shah. Vital incountry support for theestablishment of SLIMS has been forthcoming from the following conservation leaders: inChina, Professors Li Bosheng, Wang Zhongyi, Wang Sung, and Tan Bangjie; in Pakistan,Ashiq Ahmad and Dawood Ghuznavi, World Wild Fund for NaturePakistan, along withMumtaz Malik, Conservator of Wildlife, Northwest Frontier Province; in India, Hemandra S.Panwar and Gopal Rawat, and Raghu Chundawat, Wildlife Institute of India; and inMongolia, Jachin Tserendeleg, Mongolian Association for the Conservation of Nature and theEnvironment.

    Invaluable input was provided by field researchers working in the countries hosting wildsnow leopards and their prey. In India, Raghu Chundawat, Joseph L. Fox, and David Mallon;in China, Lu Xuedong, Duan Xu, and Chen Yun; in Nepal, Madan Oli; in Russia, EugeneKoshkarev; and in Pakistan, SaeedUzZaman. George B. Schaller and Thomas M. McCarthytested the methodology in Mongolia and offered helpful ideas for its improvement. Richard B.Harris and Daniel Miller offered advice on ungulate census techniques. Additional input wasprovided by Michael Green of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and NaturalResources (IUCN) World Monitoring Centre, Cambridge; Paul Joslin formerly of Wolf Haven;Peter Jackson, Chairman of the Cat Group, Species Survival Commission, IUCN. Editing andproduction was done by Darla Hillard, Judy Scherpelz, Dora Medellin, and Rebecca Lange,and map/GIS support from Chris Emmerich.

    Comments on this handbook should be addressed to:

    International Snow Leopard Trust4649 Sunnyside Avenue NorthSeattle, WA 98103Phone (206) 632-3967; Fax (206) 632-3967E-mail: tmccarthy@snowleopard.orgAuthors e-mail: rodjackson@mountain.org or don_o_hunter@usgs.gov

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    Table of Contents

    Chapter Page

    1 Project Snow Leopard ............................................................................... 1Introduction .......................................................................................... 1

    Objectives and Background of this Handbook ................................ 3

    2 General Ecology of Snow Leopards .......................................................... 5Brief Background on Snow Leopards .................................................. 5

    Country by Country Status ............................................................. 9Principal Threats ................................................................................. 12

    Hunting and Bone Trade ................................................................ 12Conflict with Graziers ..................................................................... 13Inadequate Protection ..................................................................... 14

    3 Basic Steps to Survey ............................................................................... 16Introduction to Surveys ....................................................................... 16

    Identify Survey Areas ..................................................................... 18Schedule and Prepare for the Survey ............................................. 20Conduct the Field Survey ............................................................... 23Analyze Survey Data ...................................................................... 25Report Survey Results .................................................................... 28

    4 Snow Leopard Survey Methodology ........................................................ 29Purpose and Background .................................................................... 29

    Features of Marking in Snow Leopard ........................................... 30Sign Placement ................................................................................ 34Identification of Sign ....................................................................... 35Assumptions of Sign Surveys .......................................................... 35

    Presence-Absence Survey .................................................................... 36Objectives ........................................................................................ 36Outputs ............................................................................................ 37Identify Survey Areas ...................................................................... 37Schedule and Prepare for the Survey .............................................. 37Conduct the Field Survey ................................................................ 40Analyze Survey Data ....................................................................... 43Report Survey Results ..................................................................... 44

    Abundance Survey ............................................................................... 45Objectives ......................................................................................... 45Outputs ............................................................................................. 45Identify Survey Areas ....................................................................... 45Schedule and Prepare for the Survey ............................................... 47Conduct the Field Survey ................................................................. 47Analyze Survey Data ........................................................................ 63Report Survey Results ...................................................................... 63

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    Table of Contents. Continued.

    Chapter Page

    5 Prey Species Survey Methods ................................................................... 66Purpose and Background ...................................................................... 66Abundance Survey ................................................................................ 68

    Objectives .......................................................................................... 68Outputs ............................................................................................. 69

    Methods ................................................................................................. 69Strip or Line Transect ...................................................................... 72Identify Survey Areas ...... ............................................................... 72Schedule and Prepare for the Survey .............................................. 73Conduct the Field Survey ................................................................ 73Analyze Survey Data ....................................................................... 82Report Survey Results ..................................................................... 83

    Additional Comments .......................................................................... 856 Habitat Assessment Methods .................................................................. 86

    Purpose and Background .................................................................... 86Habitat Assessment ............................................................................ 86

    Objectives ........................................................................................ 86Outputs ........................................................................................... 87

    Methods ..