- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
Conserving large carnivores in an increasingly crowded planet raises difficult challenges. A recurring debate is whether large carnivores can be conserved in human used landscapes (land sharing) or whether they require specially designated areas (land sparing). Here we show that 40% of the 170 protected areas in the global range of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) are smaller than the home range of a single adult male and only 4– 13% are large enough for a 90% probability of containing 15 or more adult females. We used data from 16 snow leopards equipped with GPS collars in the Tost Mountains of South Gobi, Mongolia, to calculate home range size and overlap using three different estimators: minimum convex polygons (MCP), kernel utility distributions (Kernel), and local convex hulls (LoCoH). Local convex hull home ranges were smaller and included lower proportions of unused habitats compared to home ranges based on minimum convex polygons and Kernels. Intra-sexual home range overlap was low, especially for adult males, suggesting that snow leopards are territorial. Mean home range size based on the LoCoH estimates was 207 km2 ± 63 SD for adult males and 124 km2 ± 41 SD for adult females. Our estimates were 6–44 times larger than earlier estimates based on VHF technology when comparing similar estimators, i.e. MCP. Our study illustrates that protected areas alone will not be able to conserve predators with large home ranges and conservationists and managers should not restrict their efforts to land sparing.
Understanding spatial ecology is fundamental for the development of conservation and management plans for wide-ranging animals such as large carnivores (Woodroffe and Ginsberg, 2000). Our study found: (1) substantially larger home ranges of snow leopards than previously published, estimates that are 6–44 times larger than VHF-based studies when comparing similar home range estimators (MCP Jackson, 1996; Oli, 1997; McCarthy et al., 2005), (2) evidence of territoriality with low overlap between adults of the same sex, and (3) that only a small proportion of the protected areas in the snow leopard range are large enough to support 15 or more adult females. In theory, a few very large protected areas could be enough to conserve the species, however even for the smallest home range estimate with overlap of two neighbours (i.e. the most generous estimate of how many snow leopards that can fit into a protected area) only eight of the existing protected areas were estimated to be capable of harbouring N50 adult females, all of which lie in the eastern end of the snow leopard distribution range (Table S2). These results highlight that snow leopards have a substantially larger spatial need than previously thought. The results also suggest that land sparing with protected areas forming the backbone of snow leopard conservation would not be sufficient to secure longterm and large-scale population viability. Even so, well-managed protected areas remain important as legally recognized protection from damaging land uses such as mining or linear intrusions that can fragment populations or destroy habitats, as well as foundations from which larger protected areas can grow.