The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is an endangered species, and its population size is steadily declining. The main threats to the snow leopard include illegal trade, conflict with locals (human-snow leopard conflict), lack of conservation, awareness and policy, and climate change. To avoid its extinction, we badly need a good knowledge of its ecology, distribution and population dynamics, including interactions with its prey, which will take into account various scenarios of changes in climate and human impact on snow leopard. Snow Leopards in Nepal aims to put together a considerable amount of unpublished data collected by the co-author of most of the chapters, Bikram Shrestha, which might be useful for other researchers working on snow leopards. In addition, researchers might find it useful to have a key for determining the diet of snow leopard based on remnants of its food in its scats. Last, but not least, based on the difficulty we experienced trying to compare and combine different sets of results, we propose a general methodology for collecting data. Thus, this book is not an all-encompassing compendium, but an attempt to fill some gaps in the literature and to show, how to publish new data on snow leopards in a useful and workable way.
The first part, describing the main features of the snow leopard and its main prey ecology, is followed by a comprehensive review of data available on its abundance and threats to its survival. The third, most extensive part – the substance of the book – presents new data from 15 years of intensive camera trapping combined with scat sampling. These data are analyzed by means of advanced GIS and genetic techniques, which yields a large number of conservation implications.
The purpose of this book is to provide a tool for both environmental managers and researchers to find quickly what is known about this species for conservation planning and for effective protection of snow leopard. However, enthusiasts interested in wild cats may welcome the book, too.
Pavel Kindlmann is a professor of ecology at Charles University in Prague and Head of the Department of Biodiversity Research in the Global Change Research Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. His main interests include population and metapopulation dynamics and evolution of life-history strategies with a special emphasis on insect herbivores, orchids and large mammals. He authored or edited several books on population systems of orchids and on conservation biology, including the Himalayan region and published more than 150 scientific papers in prominent journals.