Community perception on carnivores noted through survey in Basha valley

Snow Leopard Foundation conducted Human-Carnivore Interaction Survey and Camera Trapping with Scent Station in Basha valley. Human-carnivore interaction survey was conducted in Basha valley from May-2017 to July, 2017. Semi-structured questionnaires were developed considering the household levels in the valley. The survey was conducted by SLF field staff having experience in human carnivore interaction surveys. Necessary information collected during the survey was about household size, large carnivore sightings, number of livestock, livestock killed by carnivores in the past one year. Additional information such as community perceptions on carnivores and attitudes towards wildlife was also noted. Total 100 households were surveyed in 16 villages with an equal proportion of 5% of total household from each village. Camera trapping with scent station was conducted in Basha Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, from May 21, 2017 to July 19, 2017. Thirty ReconyxTM (HC500 HyperfireTM and PC900 HyperfireTM; Reconyx, Holmen, Wisconsin, USA) cameras were deployed in different watersheds of MDNP for a total of 1347 trap nights. They were passive camera systems which take photo of an animal or an object having temperature difference. Two types of lures were used; fish oil onto a plaster tablet and Castor to attract the animals towards stations. Study area was divided into small compartments based on natural watershed boundaries. The present results are based on 30 cameras. These cameras were remained active for minimum 14 nights and maximum 52 nights, mostly 50 nights or more. Total of 116,793 photos of different wild mammals, birds, livestock, humans and false triggers, were recorded. At least, 8 mammalian species has been identified. Among these, snow leopards and wolves were captured at 3 stations each, brown bear at 1 station, fox at 22 stations, pika at 11 stations, field mouse/rat at 2 stations, stone martens at 19 stations while weasel or ermine (or both) were captured at 4 stations.