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Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 59, Issue 25, pp 3162–3168 | Cite as

Dietary overlap of snow leopard and other carnivores in the Pamirs of Northwestern China

  • Jun Wang
  • Alice Laguardia
  • Peter John Damerell
  • Philip Riordan
  • Kun ShiEmail author
Article Ecology

Abstract

Information about competition between carnivore species for food within high altitude regions is limited. Data collected from the Taxkorgan Nature Reserve, China revealed important interactions between snow leopard (Panthera uncia), grey wolf (Canis lupus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and their prey species, including domestic livestock. Sixty-four line transects were conducted in order to identify field signs of habitat occupancy and collect scats for diet analysis. High dietary overlap was observed between all three carnivore species: snow leopard and red fox (Pianka’s index = 0.96), red fox and grey wolf (Pianka’s index = 0.90), snow leopard and grey wolf (Pianka’s index = 0.87). Snow leopard and grey wolf showed significant predation on livestock (36.8 % for snow leopard and 29.4 % for grey wolf in diet composition). As a pioneering exploration of the endangered snow leopard and its relationship with other species within the alpine ecosystem under livestock grazing pressure, this study contributes a greater understanding of the relationship within carnivore guild in the Pamirs whilst providing implications for conservation planning and project implementation activities in China.

Keywords

Snow leopard Carnivore Dietary overlap The Pamirs 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the State Forestry Administration of China (SFA), Snow Leopard Network, the Snow Leopard Trust, Panthera, Beijing Forestry University and the University of Oxford. We appreciate the great support from the Forestry Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Wildlife Conservation Division of Kashi Region, Taxkorgan Nagure Reserve Administration, Livestock Husbandry Bureau of Taxkorgan County, and government of Mariang community. We greatly thank our local guide Kemeti Taklashur for his tremendous contribution in the field. Many thanks go to Shi Fanglei from Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Zhang Chengcheng, Bai Defeng, Qiu Dongdong, Tang Meiqing, Peng Yangjing and Chen Pengju from Beijing Forestry University for their support in the laboratory.

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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Wang
    • 1
  • Alice Laguardia
    • 1
  • Peter John Damerell
    • 1
  • Philip Riordan
    • 2
  • Kun Shi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The Wildlife Institute, School of Nature ConservationBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of ZoologyUniversity of OxfordAbingdonUK

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