Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Predation Related Abstracts

3 New Challenges to the Conservation and Management of the Endangered Persian Follow Deer (Dama dama mesopotamica) in Ashk Island of Lake Uromiyeh National Park, Iran

Authors: Morteza Naderi

Abstract:

The Persian fallow deer was considered as a globally extinct species until 1956 when a small population was rediscovered from Dez Wildlife Refuge and Karkheh Wildlife Refuge in southwestern parts of Iran. After long species rehabilitation process, the species was transplanted to Dasht-e-Naz Wildlife Refuge in northern Iran, and from where, follow deer was introduced to the different selected habitats such as Ashk Island in Lake Uromiyeh National Park. During 12 years, (from 1978 to 1989) 58 individuals (25 males and 33 females) were transferred to Ask Island. The main threat to the established population was related to the freshwater shortage and existing just one single trough such as high mortality rate of adult males during rutting season, snake biting and dilutional hyponatremia. Desiccation of Lake Uromiyeh in recent years raised new challenges to the conservation process, as about 80 individuals, nearly one third of the population were died in 2011. Connection of Island to the mainland caused predators’ accessibility (such as wolf and Jackal) to the Ask Island and higher mortality because of follow deer attraction to the surrounding mainland farms. Conservation team faced such new challenges that may cause introduction plan to be probably failed. Investigations about habitat affinities and carrying capacity are the main basic researches in the management and conservation of the species. Logistic regression analysis showed that the presence of the different fresh water resources as well as Allium akaka and Pistacia atlantica are the main environmental variables affect Follow deer habitat selection. Habitat carrying capacity analysis both in summer and winter seasons indicated that Ashk Island can support 240±30 of Persian follow deer.

Keywords: Carrying Capacity, Predation, follow deer, lake Uromiyeh, microhabitat affinities, population oscillation, sex ratio

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2 Human-Carnivore Interaction: Patterns, Causes and Perceptions of Local Herders of Hoper Valley in Central Karakoram National Park, Pakistan

Authors: Babar Khan, Saeed Abbas, Rahilla Tabassum, Haider Abbas, Shahid Hussain, Muhammad Zafar Khan, Fazal Karim, Yawar Abbas, Rizwan Karim

Abstract:

Human–carnivore conflict is considered to be a major conservation and rural livelihood concern because many carnivore species have been heavily victimized due to elevated conflict levels with communities. Like other snow leopard range countries, this situation prevails in Pakistan, where WWF is currently working under Asia High Mountain Project (AHMP) in Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan. To mitigate such conflicts requires a firm understanding of grazing and predation pattern including human-carnivore interaction. For this purpose we conducted a survey in Hoper valley (one of the AHMP project sites in Pakistan), during August, 2013 through a questionnaire based survey and unstructured interviews covering 647 households, permanently residing in the project area out of the total 900 households. The valley, spread over 409 km2 between 36°7'46" N and 74°49'2"E, at 2900m asl in Karakoram ranges is considered to be one of an important habitat of snow leopard and associated prey species such as Himalayan ibex. The valley is home of 8100 Brusho people (ancient tribe of Northern Pakistan) dependent on agro-pastoral livelihoods including farming and livestock rearing. The total number of livestock reported were (N=15,481) out of which 8346 (53.91%) were sheep, 3546 (22.91%) goats, 2193 (14.16%) cows, 903 (5.83%) yaks, 508 (3.28%) bulls, 28 (0.18%) donkeys, 27 (0.17%) zo/zomo (cross breed of yak and cow), and 4 (0.03%) horses. 83 percent respondent (n=542 households) confirmed loss of their livestock during the last one year July, 2012 to June, 2013 which account for 2246 (14.51%) animals. The major reason of livestock loss include predation by large carnivores such as snow leopards and wolf (1710, 76.14%) followed by diseases (536, 23.86%). Of the total predation cases snow leopard is suspected to kill 1478 animals (86.43%). Among livestock sheep were found to be the major prey of snow leopard (810, 55%) followed by goats (484, 32.7%) cows (151, 10.21%), yaks (15, 1.015%), zo/zomo (7, 0.5%) and donkey (1, 0.07%). The reason for the mass depredation of sheep and goats is that they tend to browse on twigs of bushes and graze on soft grass near cliffs. They are also considered to be very active as compared to other species in moving quickly and covering more grazing area. This makes them more vulnerable to snow leopard attack. The majority (1283, 75%) of livestock killed by predators occurred during the warm season (May-September) in alpine and sub-alpine pastures and remaining (427, 25%) occurred in the winter season near settlements in valley. It was evident from the recent study that Snow leopard kills outside the pen were (1351, 79.76%) as compared to inside pen (359, 20.24%). Assessing the economic loss of livestock predation we found that the total loss of livestock predation in the study area is equal to PKR 11,230,000 (USD 105,797), which is about PRK 17, 357 (USD 163.51) per household per year. Economic loss incurred by the locals due to predation is quite significant where the average cash income per household per year is PKR 85,000 (USD 800.75).

Keywords: Conservation, Rural, Livestock, Conflict, Predation, livelihood, carnivores, snow leopard

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1 Livestock Depredation by Large Predators: Patterns, Perceptions and Implications for Conservation and Livelihoods in Karakoram Mountain Ranges

Authors: Babar Khan, Muhammad Zafar Khan, Muhammad Saeed Awan, Farida Begum

Abstract:

Livestock depredation has greater significance in pastoral societies like Himalaya-Karakoram-Hindu Kush mountain ranges. The dynamics of depredation by large predators (snow leopard and wolf) and its implications for conservation and livelihoods of local people was investigated by household surveys in Hushey valley of Central Karakoram National Park, Pakistan. We found that, during five years (2008-12) 90% of the households in the valley had lost their livestock to snow leopard and wolf, accounting for 4.3% of the total livestock holding per year. On average each household had to bear a loss of 0.8 livestock head per year, equivalent to Pak Rupees 9,853 (US$ 101), or 10% of the average annual cash income. Majority of the predation incidences occurred during late summer in alpine pastures, mostly at night when animals were not penned properly. The prey animals in most of the cases were females or young ones. Of the total predation incidences, 60% were attributed to snow leopard, 37% to wolf, while in 3% the predator was unknown. The fear of snow leopard is greater than that of wolf. As immediate response on predation, majority of the local people (64%, n=99) preferred to report the case to their village conservation committee, 32% had no response while only 1% tended to kill the predator. The perceived causes of predation were: poor guarding practices (77%); reduction in wild prey (13%) and livestock being the favourite food of predators (10%). The most preferred strategies for predator management, according to the respondents were improved and enhanced guarding of livestock (72%), followed by increasing wild prey (18%) and lethal control (10%). To strike a balance between predator populations and pastoral livelihoods, better animal husbandry practices should be promoted including: improved guarding through collective hiring of skilled shepherds; corral improvement and use of guard dogs.

Keywords: Predation, Panthera unica, Canis lupus, Karakoram, human-carnivore conflict

Procedia PDF Downloads 151