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Rare snow leopard's diet is one-quarter livestock

from Science

Endangered snow leopards and rare Himalayan wolves may be giving conservationists in Nepal a new kind of headache. Although both species prefer dining on wild prey, a new study shows they consume far more livestock than realized, a burden on the migrating herders who let their goats, yaks, cows, and horses wander — often unaccompanied — in the region's mountain pastures. To find out whether the wild predators were helping themselves to the occasional domesticated animal meal, scientists collected 573 scats from 182 leopards and 236 scats from 57 wolves at 26 sites spread across 5000 square kilometers of mountain terrain in the Annapurna and Manaslu conservation areas. more


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