Snow Leopards - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128022139, 9780128024966

Snow Leopards

1st Edition

Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes

Series Editors: Philip Nyhus
Series Volume Editors: Tom McCarthy David Mallon
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128022139
eBook ISBN: 9780128024966
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 24th June 2016
Page Count: 644
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Table of Contents

Section I - Defining the Snow Leopard

1 What Is A Snow Leopard? Taxonomy, Morphology, and Phylogeny

2 What Is A Snow Leopard? Behavior and Ecology

3 What Is A Snow Leopard? Biogeography and Status Overview

4 Snow Leopard’s Prey and Diet

Section II - Conservation Concerns

5 Livestock Predation by Snow Leopards: Conflicts and the Search for Solutions

6 Living on the Edge: Depletion of Wild Prey and Survival of the Snow Leopard

7 Monitoring Illegal Trade in Snow leopards (2003-2012)

8 Climate Change Impacts on Snow Leopard Range

9 Diseases of Free-ranging Snow Leopards and Primary Prey Species

10 Resource Extraction

10a Introduction

10b Emerging Threats to Snow Leopards from Energy and Mineral Development

10c Linear Infrastructure and Snow Leopard Conservation

10d Harvesting of Caterpillar Fungus and Wood by Local People

10e Synthesis

Section III - Conservation Solutions In situ

11 The Role of Mountain Communities in Snow Leopard Conservation

12 Building Community Governance Structures and Institutions for Snow Leopard Conservation

13 Incentive and Reward Programs in Snow Leopard Conservation

13a Himalayan Homestays: Fostering Human-Snow Leopard Coexistence

13b Handicrafts - Snow Leopard Enterprise in Mongolia

13c A Review of Lessons, Successes and Pitfalls of Livestock Insurance Schemes

13d Synthesis

14 Livestock Husbandry and Snow Leopard Conservation

14a Corral Improvements

14b The Role of Village Reserves in Revitalizing the Natural Prey Base of the Snow Leopard

14c The Ecosystem Health Program: A Tool to Promote the Co-Existence of Livestock Owners and Snow Leopards

14d Synthesis

15 Religion and Cultural Impacts on Snow Leopards Conservation

15a Introduction

15b Tibetan Buddhist Monastery-based Snow Leopard Conservation

15c Shamanism in Central Asian Snow Leopard Cultures

15d Snow Leopards in Art and Legend of the Pamir

15e The Snow Leopard in Symbolism, Heraldry and Numismatics: The Order "Barys" and Title "Snow Leopard"

16 Trophy Hunting as a Conservation Tool for Snow Leopards

16a The Trophy Hunting Program: Enhancing Snow Leopard Prey Populations through Community Participation

16b Argali Sheep (Ovis ammon) and Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica) Trophy Hunting in Mongolia

16c Hunting of prey species - a review of lessons, successes and pitfalls. Experiences from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

16d Synthesis

17 Environmental Education for Snow Leopard Conservation

18 Law Enforcement in Snow Leopard Conservation

19 Transboundary Initiatives and Snow Leopard Conservation

20 Corporate Business and the Conservation of the Snow Leopard: Worlds that Need not Collide

Section IV - Conservation Solutions Ex situ

21 The Role of Zoos in Snow Leopard Conservation: Management of Captive Snow Leopards in the EAZA Region

22 The Role of Zoos in Snow Leopard Conservation: The Species Survival Plan in North America

23 The Role of Zoos in Snow Leopard Conservation: Captive Snow Leopards as Ambassadors of Wild Kin

23a Kolmården Wildlife Park: Supporting Snow Leopards in the Wild, Sharing the Message at Home

23b Woodland Park Zoo: From a Zoo Came a True Snow Leopard Champion

23c Bronx Zoo: Ambassadors from the Roof of the World

24 Rescue/rehab Centres and Reintroductions to the Wild

24a Tigers, Lynx and Jags: Implications for Snow Leopards

24b The NABU Kyrgyz Experience

Section V - Techniques and Technologies for the Study of a Cryptic Felid

25 Snow Leopard Research: A Historical Perspective

26 From VHF to Satellite GPS Collars: Advancements in Snow Leopard Telemetry

27 The Role of Genetics

27a Conservation Genetics of Snow Leopards

27b Diet Reconstruction of Snow Leopard Using Genetic Techniques

28 Camera Trapping: Advancing the Technology

29 Landscape Ecology: Linking Landscape Metrics to Ecological Processes

Section VI - Snow Leopard Status and Conservation: Regional Reviews and Updates

30 Central Asia: Afghanistan

31 Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan

32 Central Asia: Kazakhstan

33 Central Asia: Tajikistan

34 Central Asia: Uzbekistan

35 South Asia: Bhutan

36 South Asia: India

37 South Asia: Nepal

38 South Asia: Pakistan

38a Snow Leopard Conservation in Pakistan: A Historical Perspective

38b The Current State of Snow Leopard Conservation in Pakistan

39 Northern Range: Mongolia

40 Northern Range: Russia

41 China: The Tibetan Plateau, Sanjiangyuan Region

42 China: Current State of Snow Leopard Conservation in China

Section VII - The Future of Snow Leopards

43 Sharing the Conservation Message

44 Global Strategies for Snow Leopard Conservation: A Synthesis

45 The Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program

46 Joining Up the Spots: Aligning Approaches to Big Cat Conservation from Policy to the Field

47 Future Prospects for Snow Leopard Survival


Snow Leopards: Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes is the only comprehensive work on the biology, behavior, and conservation status of the snow leopard, a species that has long been one of the least studied, and hence poorly understood, of the large cats.

Breakthroughs in technologies and methodologies to study this elusive cat have come rapidly, including non-invasive genetics, camera traps, and GPS-satellite collaring. The book begins with chapters on the genetic standing and taxonomy of the snow leopard, followed by chapters on their behavior and ecology. Additional contributions follow on the current and emerging threats to the species, which include longstanding concerns, such as poaching and conflicts with livestock, and new and emerging threats such as mining and climate change.

A section on conservation solutions, backed by valuable case studies, starts with an overview of the important role mountain communities play in assuring the snow leopard’s long-term persistence. In addition, chapters on the role of captive snow leopards for the conservation of the species, state-of-the-art techniques and technologies for studying and monitoring snow leopards, status reports from around the region, and future perspectives, such as transboundary conservation initiatives, international conventions (CITES, CMS, etc.), the role of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and the Snow Leopard Network, and undertakings such as the Global Snow Leopard Forum facilitated by the World Bank are also included.

Key Features

  • Serves as the first and only comprehensive book on the biology, behavior, and conservation status of the snow leopard
  • Brings together the most current scientific knowledge, documents the most pressing conservation issues, and shares success stories in alleviating the broad threats that now jeopardize the long-term survival of this species
  • Brings current knowledge of the species, not only to researchers and conservationists, but also to decision makers, academics, and students
  • Edited by recognized snow leopard experts, with more than 50 years of collective experience in research and conservation of the species


snow leopard and large carnivore conservationists and researchers, academics and graduate students in the fields of wildlife conservation, captive breeding, habitat management and conservation biology, worldwide, and decision makers in governments within snow leopard range states which include Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan


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© Academic Press 2016
Academic Press
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"Snow leopards are one of the most secretive and least understood of all the great cats. Today, that changes with the publication of Snow Leopards. The editors have assembled a blue-ribbon team of specialists to produce the most comprehensive synthesis of available knowledge on the ecology and conservation of this iconic cat."

Dr. Luke Hunter, President and Chief Conservation Officer of Panthera.

"This is an incredibly important book. It has collected virtually all the most recent research and information from all 12 range states, covering biology, behavior, threats, and conservation activities for this mysterious and elusive big cat. This book will serve as the go-to reference work on snow leopards for decades to come."

Peter Zahler, Coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society's Snow Leopard Program

About the Series Editors

Philip Nyhus Series Editor

Affiliations and Expertise

Environmental Studies Program, Colby College, Waterville, ME, USA

About the Series Volume Editors

Tom McCarthy Series Volume Editor

Dr. Tom McCarthy, Panthera’s Director of Snow Leopard Programs, began his conservation career studying brown bears, black bears, mountain goats and caribou in Alaska in the early 1980s. A strong interest in international conservation led him to Mongolia in 1992, where, under the guidance of Dr. George Schaller (known as “one of the founding fathers of wildlife conservation”), he took over the management of a long-term snow leopard research project. He was the first biologist to use satellite radio-collars on snow leopards. McCarthy became the Science and Conservation Director of the Snow Leopard Trust in 2000 and has since led their extensive science and community-based conservation programs across much of snow leopard range in Asia. From 2002-2009, Dr. McCarthy served as Executive Director of the Snow Leopard Network, a global consortium of more than 200 professionals involved in snow leopard research and conservation. Among other research initiatives, Dr. McCarthy is leading both a range-wide assessment of snow leopard genetics that seeks to identify movement corridors which are critical to maintaining the health and genetic diversity of the species, and a revision of methods by which snow leopard populations can be monitored over time, including such novel non-invasive approaches as fecal genetics, camera trapping and statistical modeling based on sign surveys.

Affiliations and Expertise

Executive Director, Snow Leopard Program, PANTHERA, New York, NY USA

David Mallon Series Volume Editor

Dr. David Mallon is not only a recognized expert on snow leopards, he is extremely knowledgeable on the conservation status of Central Asia as a whole. He conducted some of the early assessments of the status of snow leopards in Mongolia and has done surveys in many of the Himalayan range states. He has more than 25 years of field work experience in the Himalaya, Tibetan Plateau, Mongolia, Central Asia and Arabia, mainly focused on large mammals, and involving species surveys, biodiversity assessment, habitat assessment, camera trapping, training, capacity building, and training local partners in census and monitoring techniques. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Zoological Society of London, as well as a member of the International Editorial Board for Oryx, the International Journal of Conservation. He has been a Steering Committee member of the Snow Leopard Network since its inception in 2003 and is currently the elected Chairman of that 400 member organization, which represents nearly every biologist and conservationist now active in the snow leopard world. He is highly respected among his peers as an expert on this cat.

Affiliations and Expertise

Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology, School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK