Killing livestock creates conflicts between top predators and pastoral communities, and is a main challenge for conserving snow leopards, which are endangered, and Himalayan wolves, which are rare.
Snow leopard and Himalayan wolf diets are about one-quarter livestock.
Credit: Madhu Chetri
The researchers found that in keeping with the predators' habitats, snow leopards preferred cliff-dwelling wild prey such as bharal, while wolves preferred plain-dwelling wild prey such as Tibetan gazelles. In addition, livestock comprised 27% of the snow leopard diet and 24% of the wolf diet.
Citation: Chetri M, Odden M, Wegge P (2017) Snow Leopard and Himalayan Wolf: Food Habits and Prey Selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. PLoS ONE 12(2): e0170549. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0170549 http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0170549