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Islamabad, Pakistan

Hameed K.,Jammu University | Hameed K.,Pmas Arid Agriculture University | Angelone-Alasaad S.,University of Zurich | Angelone-Alasaad S.,CSIC - Donana Biological Station | And 4 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2016

Although neglected, the mite Sarcoptes scabiei is an unpredictable emerging parasite, threatening human and animal health globally. In this paper we report the first fatal outbreak of sarcoptic mange in the endangered Himalayan lynx (Lynx lynx isabellinus) from Pakistan. A 10-year-old male Himalayan lynx was found in a miserable condition with severe crusted lesions in Chitral District, and immediately died. Post-mortem examination determined high S. scabiei density (1309 mites/cm2 skin). It is most probably a genuine emergence, resulting from a new incidence due to the host-taxon derived or prey-to-predator cross-infestation hypotheses, and less probable to be apparent emergence resulting from increased infection in the Himalayan lynx population. This is an alarming situation for the conservation of this already threatened population, which demands surveillance for early detection and eventually rescue and treatment of the affected Himalayan lynx. © 2016 The Author(s). Source


Din J.U.,Snow Leopard Foundation | Nawaz M.A.,Quaid-i-Azam University
Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences | Year: 2011

The study was conducted from June - October 2007 and was aimed at assessing the status of snow leopard, its major prey base, and the extent of human-snow leopard conflict in northern Chitral (Torkhow Valley). Snow leopard occurrence was conformed through sign surveys using Snow Leopard Information Management System (SLIMS) protocol. Based on the data collected the number of snow leopards in the study area (1022 km 2) was estimated to be 2-3 animals. Highest sign density was seen in Shah Junali (12.8/km), followed by Ujnu Gol (5.8) and Ziwar Gol (2.8). Extrapolating these estimates to the entire Chitral District, gives a population estimate of 36 snow leopards for the district. The livestock depredation reports collected from the area reflected 138 cases affecting 102 families (in a period of eight years, 2001-2008), indicating existence of serious human-snow leopard conflicts. Using point count method during the rut season, a total of 429 Himalayan ibex were counted in the area. The ibex is the only wild ungulate and primary prey for snow leopards in the study. Other carnivores recorded from the area included wolf, jackal, and fox. Major threats to the survival of wildlife especially snow leopard are retaliatory killing (shooting, poisoning), poaching, loss of natural prey, habitat degradation (over grazing, fodder and fuel wood collection), and lack of awareness. Source


Bischof R.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Hameed S.,Snow Leopard Foundation | Ali H.,Snow Leopard Foundation | Kabir M.,Snow Leopard Foundation | And 5 more authors.
Methods in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2014

Summary: Camera trapping, paired with analytical methods for estimating occupancy, abundance and other ecological parameters, can yield information with direct consequences for wildlife management and conservation. Although ecological information is the primary target of most camera trap studies, detectability influences every aspect from design to interpretation. Concepts and methods of time-to-event analysis are directly applicable to camera trapping, yet this statistical field has thus far been ignored as a way to analyse photographic capture data. To illustrate the use of time-to-event statistics and to better understand how photographic evidence accumulates, we explored patterns in two related measures of detectability: detection probability and time to detection. We analysed camera trap data for three sympatric carnivores (snow leopard, red fox and stone marten) in the mountains of northern Pakistan and tested predictions about patterns in detectability across species, sites and time. We found species-specific differences in the magnitude of detectability and the factors influencing it, reinforcing the need to consider determinants of detectability in study design and to account for them during analysis. Photographic detectability of snow leopard was noticeably lower than that of red fox, but comparable to detectability of stone marten. Site-specific attributes such as the presence of carnivore sign (snow leopard), terrain (snow leopard and red fox) and application of lures (red fox) influenced detectability. For the most part, detection probability was constant over time. Species-specific differences in factors determining detectability make camera trap studies targeting multiple species particularly vulnerable to misinterpretation if the hierarchical origin of the data is ignored. Investigators should consider not only the magnitude of detectability, but also the shape of the curve describing the cumulative process of photographic detection, as this has consequences for both determining survey effort and the selection of analytical models. Weighted time-to-event analysis can complement occupancy analysis and other hierarchical methods by providing additional tools for exploring camera trap data and testing hypotheses regarding the temporal aspect of photographic evidence accumulation. © 2013 British Ecological Society. Source


Bischof R.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Ali H.,Snow Leopard Foundation | Kabir M.,Snow Leopard Foundation | Hameed S.,Snow Leopard Foundation | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Zoology | Year: 2014

Rare and elusive species are seldom the first choice of model for the study of ecological questions, yet rarity and elusiveness often emerge from ecological processes. One of these processes is interspecific killing, the most extreme form of interference competition among carnivores. Subdominant species can avoid falling victim to other carnivores through spatial and/or temporal separation. The smallest carnivore species, including members of the Mustelidae, are typically the most threatened by other predators but are also exceedingly challenging to study in the wild. As a consequence, we have only limited knowledge of how the most at-risk members of carnivore communities deal with being both hunters and hunted. We explored whether activity and space use of a little-known small carnivore, the Altai mountain weasel Mustela altaica, reflect the activity and distribution of its main prey, pika Ochotona sp., and two sympatric predators, the stone marten Martes foina and the red fox Vulpes vulpes. Spatial and temporal patterns of photographic captures in Pakistan's northern mountains suggest that weasels may cope with being both predator and prey by frequenting areas used by pikas while exhibiting diurnal activity that contrasts with that of the mostly nocturnal/crepuscular stone marten and red fox. Camera trap studies are now common and are staged in many different ecosystems. The data yielded offer an opportunity not only to fill knowledge gaps concerning less-studied species but also to non-invasively test ecological hypotheses linked with rarity and elusiveness. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Zoology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Zoological Society of London. Source

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