Explore tools designed to help achieve PAWS
The GSLEP Secretariat and various partners have created a number of tools and training modules designed to help snow leopard scientists more effectively and efficiently collect and analyze population data, and to ensure that they are consistent with the recommendations of the PAWS Science Advisory Group.
Macro vs micro-level designs: The PAWS approach breaks assessing the abundance of snow leopard populations into two steps. First, we decide which areas to survey (macro level). Then, we decide where to place cameras in each survey area (micro level).
The PAWS Guidelines suggests a workflow to estimate robust snow leopard abundance in large landscapes using a design-based inference framework. The Guidelines were developed with the collaboration of international scientists and conservationists.
Macro level design Tools provide recommendation for assessing snow leopard distribution across large area (>5,000 sq km) and how to select sites for more intensive surveying (Micro level). Why use macro design? Because it is impossible to survey the whole snow leopard range. Without statistical survey design there is no way to know if surveys are representative of the whole range, so extrapolation is impossible.
Abundance (Micro) Level Design Tools
Micro Level design tools focus on sharing best practices for assessing snow leopard abundance in a relatively smaller area (2,000-5,000 sq km). SCR models need sufficient detections of individual animals and recaptures to reliably assess quantities like animal density. The goal of micro-level survey design is to place cameras so that we expect to get enough of each of these when we run the survey. We also cover steps involved in turning collected SECR data into estimates of animal abundance.
GSLEP partnered with the Snow Leopard Network (SLN) in developing a number of PAWS training toolkits. In accordance to the thematic priorities of the Bishkek Declaration 2017, the training toolkits include prey surveys, occupancy based distribution surveys, camera trapping and genetic surveys of snow leopards for spatial capture recapture analysis of density. GSLEP supported bringing these training toolkits into action through the SLN training initiative and PAWS Summit.
2020 marks the mid-point of the implementation of PAWS. A virtual PAWS Summit was organized, on the sidelines of the GSLEP Steering Committee Meeting, to accelerate the rigorous assessment of snow leopard populations at the global level. The PAWS Summit aimed to bring PAWS partners including field practitioners, statisticians, snow leopard ecologists and Government representatives together in order to:
- Take stock of progress to date
- Provide a forum for problem solving and sharing PAWS best practices
- Look ahead to PAWS 2022