A review of behavioural ecology and conservation of large predators inhabiting the Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP)

Paper Details

Review Paper 01/08/2014
Views (229) Download (7)

A review of behavioural ecology and conservation of large predators inhabiting the Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP)

Muhammad Zafar Khan, Saeed Awan, Babar Khan, Saeed Abbas, Amjad Ali
J. Bio. Env. Sci.5( 2), 439-446, August 2014.
Certificate: JBES 2014 [Generate Certificate]


The Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) stretching across 10,000 km2 of the total 72,496km2 of Gilgit-Baltistan is the largest protected area of Pakistan. Been established in 1993; the national park is yet beyond of catering vital information on ecological features. The park provides sanctuary to the snow leopard Panthera uncia and the grey wolf Canis lupus as the major and large predators, which play key role in maintaining and sustaining both the prey species and food chains in the unique mountainous ecosystem. Depredation on livestock by these predators and their killing by local herders in retaliation is a serious conservation issue because livestock rearing is one of the major livelihood sources of local herders around the Park. To strike a balance between the Park ecosystem and peoples’ needs, it is important to explore the key behavioural features of the large predators. This paper reviews unique behavioural features of the snow leopard and wolf such as their territoriality, mating, social organization and communication modes. Based on the information extracted, some conservation actions have also been suggested at the end to manage human-carnivore conflict in valleys around the Park.


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

AVSAB. 2008.Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals .American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior www.AVSABonline.org (Retrieved: 20.12.11)

Bhatnagar, YV, Wangchuk, R. Jackson, R. 1999. A survey of depredation and related wildlife-human conflict in Hemis National Park, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India. International Snow Leopard Trust, Seatle, WA

Chundawat, RS. 1990. Habitat selection by Snow leopard in Hemis National Park, India, Int. Ped. Book of Snow leopards 6, 85-92.

Coppinger, L. Coppinger, R. 1993. Dogs for herding and guarding livestock. In T. Grandin (ed) Livestock handling and transport. CAB International, Wallingford, UK

Din, JU. Nawaz, MA. 2011.Status of snow leopard and prey species in Torkhow valley, District Chitral, Pakistan.J. Anim. Plant Sci. 21(4), 836-840

Gorman, ML, Trowbridge B. 1989. The role of odor in the social lives of carnivores. In: Carnivore Behavior, Ecology and Evolution. pp. 57–88 in J. L. Gittleman (ed.). Ithaca, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.

Gorman, ML. 1990. Scent marking strategies in mammals. Revue Suisse Zoology, 97, 3–29.

Hagler B. 2005. Central Karakoram Protected Area. Volume I: Studies and Recommendations for Preparation of a Management Plan. IUCN Pakistan, Karachi, HBP Ref.: D5MP2CKP.

Hussain, S. 2000. Protecting the snow leopard and enhancing farmers’ livelihoods: A pilot insurance scheme in Baltistan. Mountain Research and Development, 20(3), 226-231.

Hussain, S. 2003. The status of the snow leopard in Pakistan and its conflict with local farmers. FFI, Oryx, 37 (1), 26-33

IUCN, 2009. Draft Management Plan of the Central Karakoram Conservation Complex. HKKH Technical Paper, Pakistan, Karachi, P. 80-100.

Jackson, R, Ahlborn, G, Gurung, M, Ale, S. 1996. Reducing livestock depredation losses in the Nepalese Himalaya. In: Proc. 17th Vertebr. Pest Conf. (R.M. Timm& A.C. Crabb, Eds) Published at Univ. of Calif., Davis. pp. 241-247.

Jackson, R, Hunter DO. 1996. Snow leopard survey and conservation handbook. Second edition. International Snow Leopard Trust, Seattle, Washington, USA.

TLF, 2009. http://www.wolfsa.org.za/content _behaviour.htm (Retrieved 21.12.2011)

Lovari, S, Ventimiglia M, Minder L. 2013. Food habits of two leopard species, competition, climate change and upper line: a way to the decrease of an endangered species? Ethology, Ecology & Evolution 25(4), 305-318.

Lovari, S. Bocci, A. 2009. An evaluation of large mammal distribution on the CKNP. Pages 126-144. Integrated case study of a selected valley in the Central Karakoram National Park. The Bargot valley (HKKH Partnership Project) Ev-K2-CNR, Italy.

Lovari, S., Sforzi, A., Scala, C. Fico, R. 2007. Mortality parameters of the wolf in Italy: does the wolf keep himself from the door? Journal of Zoology (Lond) 272,117-124

Mallon, D.P. 1991. Status and conservation of large mammals in Ladakh. Biological Conservation. 56 (1), 101-119

Marma, BB. Yunchis, VV. 1976. Observations on the breeding management and physiology of Snow leopard (Panthera u. uncial). Canids and Felids in Captivity. 66-73.

Mech, LD. 1970. The wolf: the ecology and behaviour of an endangered species. New York NY: Natural History Press.

Namgail, T, Fox, JL, Bhatnagar, YV. 2007. Carnivore-caused livestock mortality in Trans-Himalaya. Environ Manage, 39, 490-496.

Peterson, RO, Jacobs, AK, Drummer TD, Mech LD, Smith DW. 2002. Leadership behavior in relation to dominance and reproductive status in gray wolves, Canis lupus. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 80, 1405-1412.

Roberts, TJ. 2005. Field guide to the large mammals of Pakistan. Oxford university press, oxford, UK.

Schaller, GB. 1976. Mountain Mammals in Pakistan.Oryx, 13, 351-356

Schaller, GB. 1977. Mountain monarchs. Wild sheep and goats of the Himalaya. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London. p 425.

Sharma S, Dutta T, Yash Veer B. 2006. Marking site selection by free-ranging Snow leopard Uncia uncia, McNeely, J.A., T. M. Mc Carthy, A. Smith, L. Olsvig-Whittaker, and E.D. Wikramanayake (editors). Conservation Biology in Asia. Published by the Society for Conservation Biology Asia Section and Resources Himalaya, Kathmandu, Nepal, pp 197-213

SLT, 2011. Snow Leopard Trust, www.snowloepard.org(retrieved: 18.12.11)

Srivastav, A. Nigam P. 2009. National Studbook of Tibetan wolf (Canis lupus chanco). Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi.

WF. 2011. Wolf Park. http://www.wolfpark.org (Retrieved 25-12-11)

Wolf, M, Ale, S. 2009. Signs at the top: Habitat features influencing snow leopard Uncia uncia activity in Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal. Journal of Mammalogy, 90(3), 604–611.