Consequences of predation may be particularly heavy on small populations of herbivores, especially if they are threatened with extinction. Over the 2006–2010 period, we documented the effects of the spontaneous return of the endangered snow leopard on the population of the vulnerable Himalayan tahr. The study area was an area of central Himalaya where this cat disappeared c. 40 years before, because of persecution by man. Snow leopards occurred mainly in areas close to the core area of tahr distribution. Tahr was the staple (56.3 %) of snow leopards. After the arrival of this cat, tahr decreased by more than 2/3 from 2003 to 2010 (mainly through predation on kids). Subsequently, the density of snow leopards decreased by 60%from2007 to 2010. The main prey of snow leopards in Asia (bharal, marmots) were absent in our study area, forcing snow leopards to specialize on tahr. The restoration of a complete prey spectrum should be favoured through reintroductions, to conserve large carnivores and to reduce exploitation of small populations of herbivores, especially if threatened.
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|Titolo:||Recovery of the snow leopard in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park: effects on main prey|
|Citazione:||Ferretti, F., Lovari, S., Minder, I., & B., P. (2014). Recovery of the snow leopard in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park: effects on main prey. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE RESEARCH, 60, 559-562.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|