The Role of Genetics Book Chapter

Caragiulo, A, Amato, G, Weckworth, B et al. (2016). The Role of Genetics . 367-381. 10.1016/B978-0-12-802213-9.00027-4

cited authors

  • Caragiulo, A; Amato, G; Weckworth, B; Shehzad, W



  • The snow leopard's life history, diet, and population status is poorly understood due to its remote distribution and occurrence at low densities. This information is critical for understanding population trends, important prey species, human-snow leopard conflict, causes for decline, genetic and demographic threats, and as a rigorous way of measuring the impact of conservation management strategies. Advances in molecular techniques have made it possible to study these factors through the use of noninvasive genetics, which have yet to be fully implemented in the study of snow leopards. Here, we summarize conservation genetic techniques, review genetic studies on wild snow leopards and describe noninvasive sampling of scat for genetic-based diet reconstruction and its benefits over other methods. Finally, we address the gaps in our understanding of these elusive creatures, and outline how conservation genetics can address these issues to better understand and conserve snow leopards.

publication date

  • June 24, 2016

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 367

end page

  • 381