With lower prey numbers, snow leopards may turn more often to killing domestic livestock.
Livestock depredation rates vary widely over space and time from less than one percent in parts of Mongolia to more than 12 percent in hot spots in Nepal.
More than 40 percent of the people in 10 of the 12 snow leopard range countries live below national poverty levels, so such losses represent a significant loss of income, when few or no options to animal husbandry are available. Herders are especially angered by “surplus killing” events in which a snow leopard enters an enclosure and kills several livestock in a single incident. Thus, snow leopards are often killed in retribution or for prevention.
With subsistence agro-pastoralism extensively practiced across the range, it is essential to manage human-snow leopard depredation levels through strategies such as better animal husbandry; wild prey restoration; conservation awareness programs; devising sustainable means for offsetting or sharing economic losses; and creating incentive programs, such as through alternative livelihood programs, to gain local community support for snow leopard conservation.