European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 57, Issue 5, pp 1077–1083

Food habits of the snow leopard Panthera uncia (Schreber, 1775) in Baltistan, Northern Pakistan

Authors

  • Muhammad Bilal Anwar
    • Department of ZoologyPMAS-Arid Agriculture University
  • Rodney Jackson
    • Snow Leopard Conservancy
    • Department of ZoologyPMAS-Arid Agriculture University
  • Jan E. Janečka
    • Department of Veterinary Integrative BiosciencesTexas A&M University
  • Shafqat Hussain
    • Trinity College
  • Mirza Azhar Beg
    • Department of ZoologyPMAS-Arid Agriculture University
  • Ghulam Muhammad
    • Baltistan Wildlife Conservation and Development Organization (Reg.)
  • Mazhar Qayyum
    • Department of ZoologyPMAS-Arid Agriculture University
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10344-011-0521-2

Cite this article as:
Anwar, M.B., Jackson, R., Nadeem, M.S. et al. Eur J Wildl Res (2011) 57: 1077. doi:10.1007/s10344-011-0521-2

Abstract

The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) inhabits the high, remote mountains of Pakistan from where very little information is available on prey use of this species. Our study describes the food habits of the snow leopard in the Himalayas and Karakoram mountain ranges in Baltistan, Pakistan. Ninety-five putrid snow leopard scats were collected from four sites in Baltistan. Of these, 49 scats were genetically confirmed to have originated from snow leopards. The consumed prey was identified on the basis of morphological characteristics of hairs recovered from the scats. It was found that most of the biomass consumed (70%) was due to domestic livestock viz. sheep (23%), goat (16%), cattle (10%), yak (7%), and cattle–yak hybrids (14%). Only 30% of the biomass was due to wild species, namely Siberian ibex (21%), markhor (7%), and birds (2%). Heavy predation on domestic livestock appeared to be the likely cause of conflict with the local inhabitants. Conservation initiatives should focus on mitigating this conflict by minimizing livestock losses.

Keywords

HimalayasKarakoramScatDietHairLivestockBiomass

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011