The GSLEP Secretariat and various partners have created a number of tools 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).
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.
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.