Monitoring large mammalian carnivore population with camera traps
Speaker: Gopal Khanal (Ministry of Forests and Environment,Government of Nepal)
Reliable abundance and density estimate of large mammalian carnivores is central to their conservation planning. However, obtaining such estimates is extremely challenging for mammalian carnivores due to their elusive behavior and sparse distribution. For species like snow leopard that occurs in rugged mountains of the Central Asia and the Himalaya, population monitoring is fraught with challenges. Camera traps are being increasingly used to monitor large carnivore populations. For my MSc thesis, I used camera trapping method to estimate abundance and density of snow leopards in Shey Phoksundo National Park, Nepal. I will share findings of the camera trap study and talk about opportunities and challenges (e.g., study design, post-processing of camera trap data, and modeling using spatial capture recapture models) of monitoring large carnivore populations.