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Vigorous dynamics underlie a stable population of the endangered snow leopard panthera uncia in Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia

Sharma, Koustubh and Bayrakcismith, Rana and Tumursukh, Lkhagvasumberel and Johansson, Örjan and Sevger, Purevsuren and Mishra, Charudutt and McCarthy, Tom (2014). Vigorous dynamics underlie a stable population of the endangered snow leopard panthera uncia in Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. PloS one. 9:7, 1-10
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101319

Abstract

Population monitoring programmes and estimation of vital rates are key to understanding the mechanisms of population growth, decline or stability, and are important for effective conservation action. We report, for the first time, the population trends and vital rates of the endangered snow leopard based on camera trapping over four years in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. We used robust design multi-season mark-recapture analysis to estimate the trends in abundance, sex ratio, survival probability and the probability of temporary emigration and immigration for adult and young snow leopards. The snow leopard population remained constant over most of the study period, with no apparent growth (lambda = 1.08+-20.25). Comparison of model results with the "known population'' of radio-collared snow leopards suggested high accuracy in our estimates. Although seemingly stable, vigorous underlying dynamics were evident in this population, with the adult sex ratio shifting from being male-biased to female-biased (1.67 to 0.38 males per female) during the study. Adult survival probability was 0.82 (SE+-0.08) and that of young was 0.83 (SE+-0.15) and 0.77 (SE+-0.2) respectively, before and after the age of 2 years. Young snow leopards showed a high probability of temporary emigration and immigration (0.6, SE +-0.19 and 0.68, SE +-0.32 before and after the age of 2 years) though not the adults (0.02 SE+-0.07). While the current female-bias in the population and the number of cubs born each year seemingly render the study population safe, the vigorous dynamics suggests that the situation can change quickly. The reduction in the proportion of male snow leopards may be indicative of continuing anthropogenic pressures. Our work reiterates the importance of monitoring both the abundance and population dynamics of species for effective conservation.

Authors/Creators:Sharma, Koustubh and Bayrakcismith, Rana and Tumursukh, Lkhagvasumberel and Johansson, Örjan and Sevger, Purevsuren and Mishra, Charudutt and McCarthy, Tom
Title:Vigorous dynamics underlie a stable population of the endangered snow leopard panthera uncia in Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia
Series/Journal:PloS one (1932-6203)
Year of publishing :2014
Volume:9
Number:7
Page range:1-10
Number of Pages:10
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:X Agricola extesions > X30 Life sciences
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Zoology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:leopards, population dynamics
Keywords:leopards, conservation science, population dynamics
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-2387
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-2387
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000339040600034
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0101319
ID Code:11825
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:09 Feb 2015 14:32
Metadata Last Modified:20 Feb 2015 04:41

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