|Town/Region||Annapurna Conservation Area|
|Categories||Carnivores, Communities, Mammals|
|Date||9 Jul 2018|
Involving local people is vital and a foremost requirement for the sustainability and local stewardship of any conservation project. This is even more important where there are serious conﬂicts with the predators like snow leopard and livestock depredation. Such conﬂict and economic losses due to livestock loss catalyse negative attitudes towards predators and might lead to retaliatory killings of like snow leopard which are already near the verge of extinction due to other threats viz. poaching and habitat loss. There is a critical need to educate, empower and involve local people who reside in snow leopard habitat throughout the year.
The project will train local high-school students/local herders in survey and monitoring techniques for snow leopards and their prey species. They will be beneﬁtted through training on:
(a) Remote camera traps set up, monitoring and collection of images/footages, and changing of memory cards in the cameras
(b) Monitoring and collecting data on indirect signs of snow leopards such as pugmarks, scats, scrapes, kill sites
(c) Monitoring of snow leopard prey species i.e. blue sheep, musk deer etc. using binoculars and spotting scopes
(d) Reliable scat collection methods in the ﬁeld. It is expected that the trained students and herders will be turned into local citizen scientists and will be actively engaged in the data collection and conservation activities in the succeeding years. Besides, the trained herders will improve their traditional and unsafe livestock pen and corrals to save from snow leopards. They will get the ideas how to make the predator-proof corrals even using the local materials, resources and manpower. Thus, this work helps to reduce the livestock depredation cases and supports snow leopard conservation programs in the area.
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