モンゴルおよびインドにおける人とユキヒョウの軋轢について (特集1: ヒマラヤ研究ユニット)モンゴルおよびインドにおける人とユキヒョウの軋轢について (特集1: ヒマラヤ研究ユニット)AN10392447 Conflicts between Humans and Snow Leopards in Mongolia and India (Special Issue 1: Contribution from the Kyoto University Unit for Himalayan Studies)
特集1: ヒマラヤ研究ユニット = Special Issue 1: Contribution from the Kyoto University Unit for Himalayan Studies 本誌公刊にあたっては、京都大学学士山岳会、京都大学「霊長類学・ワイルドライフサイエンス」・リーディング大学院からの助成をうけました。 Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is a big cat species well adapted to life at high altitudes in the Himalayan Mountains. They have some unique characteristics which are not common among other big cat species, such as, they cannot roar unlike other big cats, but they make a prusten call (the short sound of air expelled through the nostrils) like tigers. They are categorized as “Endangered” in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. One of their main problems is that herders kill snow leopards because they prey on livestock. For preliminary research on snow leopards, we visited their natural habitat in the Baga Bogd Mountains in south Mongolia and Ladakh in India. Here we discuss the conflicts and relationships between humans and snow leopards in these two countries. Mongolia is the next largest snow leopard habitat after China. In southern Mongolia, nomadic people have long lived in harmony with nature by traditional ecological knowledge. However, recently the number of nomadic people have increased production of cashmere sheep since they were allowed private property rights after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This caused excessive pasturing and the expansion of dry areas. Also, environmental destruction is caused by the development of mining and transportation infrastructure. We used camera traps to survey snow leopards in Baga Bogd mountain, southern Mongolia. Although Baga Bogd Mountain is a relatively small mountain, we could take photos of snow leopards; including cubs. From these pictures, we found that their territories overlapped and this mountain can be a important breeding ground for snow leopards. In this country, there remain many areas that have not been surveyed for snow leopards yet. Although Mongolia has urbanized rapidly, this country has a large number of snow leopards. We hope the natural nomadic culture will support the coexistence of humans and snow leopards in the future. Ladakh has conflict between humans and snow leopards as well. Unlike the nomadic people in southern Mongolia, people in Ladakh lives in steep mountain valleys largely overlapping with the habitat of snow leopards. Therefore it could stimulate livestock depredation by snow leopards. Indeed, we have encountered livestock depredation by snow leopard at the village in Ladakh in April 2016. Moreover, it is reported that livestock depredation increases from February to April. It may be related to the fact in this season, many female snow leopards become pregnant, and thus it may increase their energy demand. Also, other prey species density in this season may decrease due to the hibernation and migration, and thus it may increase livestock predation rate. Based on this we hypothesized that the rate of livestock predation by snow leopards changes with the physiological state of snow leopards and seasonal changes of the prey density. We are planning future research to evaluate this hypothesis as the next step.