What factors best explain attitudes to snow leopards in the Nepal Himalayas?

Autoři: Jonathan H. Hanson aff001;  Maurice Schutgens aff002;  Nigel Leader-Williams aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom aff001;  Independent Researcher, Port Shepstone, South Africa aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223565


The snow leopard Panthera uncia is a vulnerable wild felid native to mountainous regions of 12 Asian countries. It faces numerous overlapping threats, including killings by herders retaliating against livestock losses, the illegal wildlife trade, loss of prey and habitat, infrastructure, energy and mining developments, and climate change. The species ranges over large territories that often lie outside of protected areas (PA), so coexistence with human populations across its range is key to its persistence. Human attitudes to snow leopards may be an important factor to consider in reducing overlapping threats to this species. However, this nexus has not been widely studied to date. Attitudes to snow leopard conservation, including actors and interventions, may also be a significant aspect of coexistence. These have also received limited empirical attention. This study therefore explored human attitudes to snow leopards and to snow leopard conservation, the motivations for these attitudes and the individual factors that best explained them. Using systematic sampling, a quantitative questionnaire was administered to 705 households at two sites in the Nepal Himalayas: Sagarmatha National Park, with a less decentralised governance model, and Annapurna Conservation Area, with a more decentralised model. Linear regression models were the main form of analysis. Based on these, attitudes to snow leopard conservation emerged as the strongest influence on local attitudes to snow leopards, and vice versa. This was true in both PAs, despite their differing management regimes. Other important explanatory factors included numbers of livestock owned, years of education, household livelihoods and age. Furthermore, a positive intrinsic motivation was the most common reason given by respondents to explain their attitudes to both snow leopards and snow leopard conservation. These findings demonstrate that, in addition to the usual suite of factors that influence attitudes to a species, the way in which its conservation is pursued and perceived also needs consideration. How the snow leopard is conserved may strongly influence its coexistence with local communities.

Klíčová slova:

Conservation science – Forests – Livestock – Nepal – Religion – Wildlife – Leopards – Carnivora


1. Athreya V, Odden M, Linnell JDC, Krishnaswamy J, Karanth U. Big Cats in Our Backyards: Persistence of Large Carnivores in a Human Dominated Landscape in India. Hayward M, editor. PLoS ONE. 2013 Mar 6;8(3):e57872. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057872 23483933

2. GSLEP. Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program. Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan; 2013.

3. McCarthy T, Mallon D, Jackson R, Zahler P, McCarthy K [Internet]. Panthera uncia. 2017 [cited 2017 Oct 11]. Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22732/0.

4. Jackson R, Mallon D, Sharma RK, Suryawanshi KR, Mishra C. Snow Leopard Survival Strategy. Seattle: Snow Leopard Network; 2013.

5. Mishra C, Redpath SR, Suryawanshi KR. Livestock Predation by Snow Leopards: Conflicts and the Search for Solutions. In: Snow Leopards. Elsevier; 2016. p. 59–67.

6. Chetri M, Odden M, Wegge P. Snow Leopard and Himalayan Wolf: Food Habits and Prey Selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. PLOS ONE. 2017;12(2):e0170549. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170549 28178279

7. Shehzad W, McCarthy TM, Pompanon F, Purevjav L, Coissac E, Riaz T, et al. Prey preference of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in South Gobi, Mongolia. PLOS ONE. 2012;7(2):e32104. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032104 22393381

8. Alexander JS, Gopalaswamy AM, Shi K, Hughes J, Riordan P. Patterns of Snow Leopard Site Use in an Increasingly Human-Dominated Landscape. PLOS ONE. 2016 May 12;11(5):e0155309. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155309 27171203

9. Farrington JD, Li J. Climate Change Impacts on Snow Leopard Range. In: Snow Leopards. Elsevier; 2016. p. 85–95.

10. Forrest JL, Wikramanayake E, Shrestha R, Areendran G, Gyeltshen K, Maheshwari A, et al. Conservation and climate change: Assessing the vulnerability of snow leopard habitat to treeline shift in the Himalaya. Biol Conserv. 2012;150(1):129–135.

11. Zahler P, Farrington JD, Heiner M, Oakleaf J, Davaa G, Yunden B, et al. Resource Extraction. In: Snow Leopards. Elsevier; 2016. p. 113–36.

12. Nowell K, Li J, Paltsyn M, Sharm R. An Ounce of Prevention: Snow Leopard Crime Revisited. Cambridge: TRAFFIC; 2016.

13. Maheshwari A, Meibom S von. Monitoring Illegal Trade in Snow Leopards (2003–2012). In: Snow Leopards. Elsevier; 2016. p. 77–84.

14. Jackson RM, Lama WB. The Role of Mountain Communities in Snow Leopard Conservation. In: Snow Leopards. Elsevier; 2016. p. 139–49.

15. Zahler P, Paley R. Building Community Governance Structures and Institutions for Snow Leopard Conservation. In: Snow Leopards. Elsevier; 2016. p. 151–62.

16. Jackson R, Mishra C, McCarthy TM, Ale S. Snow leopards: conflict and conservation. In: Macdonald DW, Loveridge AJ, editors. Biology and conservation of wild felids. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2010. p. 417–30.

17. Namgail T, Majumder B, Dadul J, Agvaantseren B, Allen P, Dashzeveg U, et al. Incentive and Reward Programs in Snow Leopard Conservation. In: Snow Leopards. Elsevier; 2016. p. 163–78.

18. Mishra C, Allen P, McCarthy TOM, Madhusudan MD, Bayarjargal A, Prins HHT. The Role of Incentive Programs in Conserving the Snow Leopard. Conserv Biol. 2003;17(6):1512–20.

19. Mohammed G, Mostafawi SN, Dadul J, Rosen T, Mishra C, Bhatnagar YV, et al. Livestock Husbandry and Snow Leopard Conservation. In: Snow Leopards. Elsevier; 2016. p. 179–95.

20. Jackson R, Wangchuk R. Linking snow leopard conservation and people-wildlife conflict resolution: Grassroots measures to protect the endangered snow leopard from herder retribution. Endanger Species Update. 2001;18(4):138–41.

21. Minin ED, Slotow R, Hunter LTB, Pouzols FM, Toivonen T, Verburg PH, et al. Global priorities for national carnivore conservation under land use change. Sci Rep. 2016 Apr 1;6:23814. doi: 10.1038/srep23814 27034197

22. Ripple WJ, Estes JA, Beschta RL, Wilmers CC, Ritchie EG, Hebblewhite M, et al. Status and ecological effects of the world’s largest carnivores. Science. 2014;343(6167):1241484. doi: 10.1126/science.1241484 24408439

23. Walston J, Robinson JG, Bennett EL, Breitenmoser U, da Fonseca GAB, Goodrich J, et al. Bringing the Tiger Back from the Brink—The Six Percent Solution. Mace GM, editor. PLOS Biol. 2010 Sep 14;8(9):e1000485. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000485 20856904

24. Karanth K, Karanth A, Gopalaswamy R, DeFries N, Ballal B, Gratwicke. Assessing Patterns of Human-Wildlife Conflicts and Compensation around a Central Indian Protected Area. PLOS ONE. 2012;7(12):e50433. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050433 23227173

25. Bagchi S, Mishra C. Living with large carnivores: predation on livestock by the snow leopard (Uncia uncia). J Zool. 2006;268(3):217–24.

26. Suryawanshi KR, Bhatia S, Bhatnagar YV, Redpath S, Mishra C. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves. Conserv Biol. 2014;28(6):1657–1666. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12320 25039397

27. Barthwal SC, Mathur VB. Teachers’ Knowledge of and Attitude Toward Wildlife and Conservation. Mt Res Dev. 2012;32(2):169–75.

28. Bhatia S, Redpath SM, Suryawanshi K, Mishra C. The Relationship Between Religion and Attitudes Toward Large Carnivores in Northern India? Hum Dimens Wildl. 2016;1–13.

29. Alexander J, Chen P, Damerell P, Youkui W, Hughes J, Shi K, et al. Human wildlife conflict involving large carnivores in Qilianshan, China and the minimal paw-print of snow leopards. Biol Conserv. 2015;187:1–9.

30. Li J, Yin H, Wang D, Jiagong Z, Lu Z. Human-snow leopard conflicts in the Sanjiangyuan Region of the Tibetan Plateau. Biol Conserv. 2013;166(0):118–23.

31. Oli MK, Taylor IR, Rogers ME. Snow leopard Panthera uncia predation of livestock: An assessment of local perceptions in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. Biol Conserv. 1994;68(1):63–8.

32. Carter NH, Riley SJ, Shortridge A, Shrestha BK, Liu J. Spatial assessment of attitudes toward tigers in Nepal. Ambio. 2014;43(2):125–137. doi: 10.1007/s13280-013-0421-7 23836312

33. Williams CK, Ericsson G, Heberlein TA. A quantitative summary of attitudes toward wolves and their reintroduction (1972–2000). Wildl Soc Bull. 2002;575–584.

34. Kellert SR. American attitudes toward and knowledge of animals: an update. Int J Study Anim Probl USA [Internet]. 1980 [cited 2016 Aug 26]; Available from: http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=US875158488

35. Kansky R, Knight AT. Key factors driving attitudes towards large mammals in conflict with humans. Biol Conserv. 2014;179:93–105.

36. Ghosal S, Athreya V, Linnell JDC, Vedeld PO. An ontological crisis? A review of large felid conservation in India. Biodivers Conserv. 2013;22(11):2665–81.

37. Udaya Sekhar N. Local people’s attitudes towards conservation and wildlife tourism around Sariska Tiger Reserve, India. J Environ Manage. 2003;69(4):339–47. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2003.09.002 14680895

38. Tessema ME, Lilieholm RJ, Ashenafi ZT, Leader-Williams N. Community attitudes toward wildlife and protected areas in Ethiopia. Soc Nat Resour. 2010;23(6):489–506.

39. Walpole MJ, Goodwin HJ. Local attitudes towards conservation and tourism around Komodo National Park, Indonesia. Environ Conserv. 2001;28(2):160–166.

40. Lam LM, Paul S. Displacement and Erosion of Informal Risk-Sharing: Evidence from Nepal. World Dev. 2013;43:42–55.

41. Macura B, Zorondo-Rodriguez F, Grau-Satorras M, Demps K, Laval M, Garcia CA, et al. Local Community Attitudes toward Forests Outside Protected Areas in India. Impact of Legal Awareness, Trust, and Participation. Ecol Soc. 2011;16(3):10.

42. Allendorf TD, Allendorf K. The Role of Gender in Park-People Relationships in Nepal. Hum Ecol. 2012;40(5):789–96.

43. Ogra MV. Human-wildlife conflict and gender in protected area borderlands: A case study of costs, perceptions, and vulnerabilities from Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal), India. Geoforum. 2008;39(3):1408–22.

44. Chen P, Gao Y, Lee ATL, Cering L, Shi K, Clark SG. Human–carnivore coexistence in Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) Nature Reserve, China: Patterns and compensation. Biol Conserv. 2016 May;197:18–26.

45. Ikeda N. Economic impacts of livestock depredation by snow leopard Uncia uncia in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Nepal Himalaya. Environ Conserv. 2004;31(4):322–30.

46. Rosen T, Hussain S, Mohammad G, Jackson R, Janecka JE, Michel S. Reconciling Sustainable Development of Mountain Communities With Large Carnivore Conservation Lessons From Pakistan. Mt Res Dev. 2012;32(3):286–93.

47. Baral N, Heinen JT. The Maoist people’s war and conservation in Nepal. Polit Life Sci. 2005;24(1 & 2):2–11.

48. Bhuju UR, Shakya PR, Basnet TB, Shrestha S. Nepal Biodiversity Resource Book: Protected Areas, Ramsar Sites and World Heritage Sites. Kathmandu: ICIMOD and the Minstry of Environment, Science and Technology; 2007.

49. Ale SB, Karky BS. Observations on conservation of snow leopards in Nepal. In: Snow Leopard Survival Strategy Summit. International Snow Leopard Trust; 2002.

50. Lovari S, Boesi R, Minder I, Mucci N, Randi E, Dematteis A, et al. Restoring a keystone predator may endanger a prey species in a human-altered ecosystem: the return of the snow leopard to Sagarmatha National Park. Anim Conserv. 2009;12(6):559–70.

51. Ale SB, Yonzon P, Thapa K. Recovery of snow leopard Uncia uncia in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park, Nepal. Oryx. 2007;41(1):89–92.

52. Lovari S, Minder I, Ferretti F, Mucci N, Randi E, Pellizzi B. Common and snow leopards share prey, but not habitats: competition avoidance by large predators? J Zool. 2013;291(2):127–35.

53. Government of Nepal. National population and housing census 2011: Village development committee/municipality. Statistics, Central Bureau of; 2012.

54. Daconto G, Sherpa LN. Applying scenario planning to park and tourism management in Sagarmatha National Park, Khumbu, Nepal. Mt Res Dev. 2010;30(2):103–112.

55. Ale SB, Shrestha B, Jackson R. On the status of Snow Leopard Panthera uncial (Schreber, 1775) in Annapurna, Nepal. J Threat Taxa. 2014;6(3):5534–5543.

56. Aryal A, Brunton D, Ji W, Barraclough RK, Raubenheimer D. Human–carnivore conflict: ecological and economical sustainability of predation on livestock by snow leopard and other carnivores in the Himalaya. Sustain Sci. 2014;9(3):321–329.

57. Wegge P, Shrestha R, Flagstad O. Snow leopard Panthera uncia predation on livestock and wild prey in a mountain valley in northern Nepal: implications for conservation management. Wildl Biol. 2012;18(2):131–41.

58. Baral N, Stern M, Heinen J. Integrated conservation and development project life cycles in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal: Is development overpowering conservation? Biodivers Conserv. 2007;16(10):2903–17.

59. Forza C. Survey research in operations management: a process-based perspective. Int J Oper Prod Manag. 2002;22(2):152–94.

60. Oppenheim AN. Questionnaire design, interviewing and attitude measurement. London: Continuum; 1992.

61. White PCL, Jennings NV, Renwick AR, Barker NHL. Questionnaires in ecology: a review of past use and recommendations for best practice. J Appl Ecol. 2005;42(3):421–30.

62. Schreckenberg K, Camargo I, Withnall K, Corrigan C, Franks P, Roe D, et al. Social Assessment of Conservation Initiatives: A review of rapid methodologies. London: IIED; 2010.

63. Steimann B. Livelihood strategies in North West Pakistan. Zurich: NCCR IP6 Working Paper No. 5; 2005.

64. DFID. Sustainable livelihoods guidance sheets. Department for International Development, London; 1999.

65. Wildscreen. ARKive—Discover the world’s most endangered species [Internet]. Wildscreen Arkive. 2014 [cited 2014 Feb 2]. Available from: http://www.arkive.org/

66. Spector PE. Summated rating scale construction: An introduction. London and New York: Sage; 1992.

67. Lee JW, Jones PS, Mineyama Y, Zhang XE. Cultural differences in responses to a Likert scale. Res Nurs Health. 2002 Aug 1;25(4):295–306. doi: 10.1002/nur.10041 12124723

68. Carter NH, Riley SJ, Liu J. Utility of a psychological framework for carnivore conservation. Oryx. 2012 Oct;46(4):525–35.

69. Nepal S, Spiteri A. Linking Livelihoods and Conservation: An Examination of Local Residents’ Perceived Linkages Between Conservation and Livelihood Benefits Around Nepal’s Chitwan National Park. Environ Manage. 2011;47(5):727–38. doi: 10.1007/s00267-011-9631-6 21365273

70. Heinen J. The Importance of a Social Science Research Agenda in the Management of Protected Natural Areas, with Selected Examples. Bot Rev. 2010;76(2):140–64.

71. Newing H, Eagle C, Puri R, Watson C. Conducting research in conservation. A social science perspective. London and New York: Routledge; 2011.

72. Paudel GS, Thapa GB. Changing farmers’ land management practices in the hills of Nepal. Environ Manage. 2001;28(6):789–803. 11915967

73. Cavalcanti SMC, Marchini S, Zimmermann A, Gese EM, Macdonald DW. Jaguars, livestock, and people in Brazil: realities and perceptions. In: Macdonald DW, Loveridge AJ, editors. Biology and conservation of wild felids. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2010. p. 383–402.

74. Mac Nally R. Regression and model-building in conservation biology, biogeography and ecology: the distinction between–and reconciliation of–“predictive”and “explanatory”models. Biodivers Conserv. 2000;9(5):655–671.

75. Zimmermann A, Walpole MJ, Leader-Williams N. Cattle ranchers’ attitudes to conflicts with jaguar Panthera onca in the Pantanal of Brazil. Oryx. 2005;39(4):406–12.

76. Field A. Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics. Fifth edition. London and New York: Sage; 2013.

77. Sakurai R, Jacobson SK, Carlton JS. Media coverage of management of the black bear Ursus thibetanus in Japan. Oryx. 2013;47(4):519–525.

78. Nunnally J. Psychometric methods. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1978.

79. Bosma H, Marmot MG, Hemingway H, Nicholson AC, Brunner E, Stansfeld SA. Low job control and risk of coronary heart disease in Whitehall II (prospective cohort) study. Br Med J. 1997;314(7080):558.

80. McKinley RK, Manku-Scott T, Hastings AM, French DP, Baker R. Reliability and validity of a new measure of patient satisfaction with out of hours primary medical care in the United Kingdom: development of a patient questionnaire. Br Med J. 1997;314(7075):193.

81. Osborne J, Waters E. Four assumptions of multiple regression that researchers should always test. Pract Assess Res Eval. 2002;8(2):1.

82. Green JMH, Larrosa C, Burgess ND, Balmford A, Johnston A, Mbilinyi BP, et al. Deforestation in an African biodiversity hotspot: Extent, variation and the effectiveness of protected areas. Biol Conserv. 2013 Aug;164(0):62–72.

83. Mac Nally R. Multiple regression and inference in ecology and conservation biology: further comments on identifying important predictor variables. Biodivers Conserv. 2002;11(8):1397–1401.

84. DNPWC. Snow Leopard Conservation Action Plan for Nepal 2017–2021. Kathmandu: Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation; 2017.

85. Li J, Wang D, Yin H, Zhaxi D, Jiagong Z, Schaller GB, et al. Role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation. Conserv Biol. 2014;28(1):87–94. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12135 23992599

86. Foggin M. Pastoralists and wildlife conservation in western China: collaborative management within protected areas on the Tibetan Plateau. Pastor Res Policy Pract. 2012;2(1):17.

87. McShane TO, Hirsch PD, Trung TC, Songorwa AN, Kinzig A, Monteferri B, et al. Hard choices: Making trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and human well-being. Biol Conserv. 2011;144(3):966–72.

88. Torri M-C, Herrmann TM. Biodiversity Conservation versus Rural Development: What Kind of Possible Harmonization? The Case Study of Alwar District, Rajasthan, India. J Hum Ecol. 2010;31(2):93–101.

89. Johansson Ö, Rauset GR, Samelius G, McCarthy T, Andrén H, Tumursukh L, et al. Land sharing is essential for snow leopard conservation. Biol Conserv. 2016 Nov;203:1–7.

90. Karanth KK, Nepal SK. Local Residents Perception of Benefits and Losses From Protected Areas in India and Nepal. Environ Manage. 2012;49(2):372–86. doi: 10.1007/s00267-011-9778-1 22080427

91. Wells MP, McShane TO. Integrating protected area management with local needs and aspirations. AMBIO J Hum Environ. 2004;33(8):513–519.

92. Kaimowitz D, Sheil D. Conserving What and for Whom? Why Conservation Should Help Meet Basic Human Needs in the Tropics. Biotropica. 2007;39(5):567–74.

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 10