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Determinants of herder’s attitudes towards snow leopard in Upper Mustang, Nepal
Karuna Karki

Last modified: 2017-08-22


Livestock depredation by snow leopards is a major source its conflict with pastoral communities in Nepal Himalayas. The economic loss incurred due to livestock loss often causes negative attitudes among pastoral communities towards snow leopard conservation. Examining the determinants of attitudes is thus crucial to understand the social carrying capacity for snow leopard conservation. In this study, I interviewed 451 respondents to quantify their attitude towards snow leopard (response variable: attitude scores) by asking a series of questions pertaining their knowledge about snow leopard and their willingness to support for its conservation and their socio-economic characters (e.g., age, sex, education). Using multiple linear regression models, I examined the relative influence of socio-economic explanatory variables on attitude scores. Regression models showed that male (ßmale=1.31± 0.5; p = 0.01) and educated respondents (ßedu=1.81± 0.52; p = 0.00) were likely to have positive attitudes towards snow leopard conservation whereas household size (ßhh_size=0.15± 0.24; p = 0.5) and age (ßage=  -0.02± 0.24; p = 0.9) did not have consistent influence on attitude scores due to high standard errors associated with the estimated slope parameters. Respondents who had lost livestock in the past were likely to have negative attitudes towards snow leopard conservation (ßage=  -1.40± 0.56; p = 0.01).  Together, these results suggest that conflict mitigation and outreach efforts need to target illiterate female respondents and who had lost livestock to snow leopard to reduce any form of antagonism and retaliatory killing of snow leopard and increase social carrying capacity for its conservation.

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