Factors shaping the tolerance of local Tibetan herders toward snow leopards

Tang Piaopiao, Kulbhushansingh R. Suryawanshi, Xiao Lingyun, Charudutt Mishra, Lu Zhi*, Justine Shanti Alexander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Snow leopards (Panthera uncia) have long co-existed with livestock herding people across Asia's high mountains. Multiple use landscapes however imply potential competition for shared resources, livestock predation, and the risk of retaliatory killing of predators. Community-based conservation is a central pillar for supporting people's livelihoods and safeguarding predators and their habitat. Based on the theory of planned behavior, we examined the factors that shape herders’ tolerance of snow leopards. Our questionnaire-based study was conducted in the Sanjiangyuan Region, China, encompassing four communities with varying livelihoods, experiences with livestock depredation and levels of exposure to community conservation interventions. Our results showed that respondents generally held positive views towards snow leopards, although women tended to have relatively more negative views towards snow leopards compared with men. Current household income was largely dependent on caterpillar fungus rather than livestock. Social norms around religion and the role of community leaders in our study area seemed to be the main determinants of the generally benign association of people with wildlife, overshadowing potential influences of community-based conservation interventions. Our work suggests that conservations programs will be aided through collaborations with communities and religious institutions, and that conservationists must proactively engage with women as significant actors in conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126305
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Attitude
  • Community-based
  • Gender
  • Livestock
  • Religion
  • Social-norms


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