PAWS: population assessment of the world's snow leopards

Koustubh Sharma, Justine Shanti Alexander, Ian Durbach, Abinand Reddy Kodi, Charudutt Mishra, James Nichols, Darryl MacKenzie, Som Ale, Sandro Lovari, Abdul Wali Modaqiq, Lu Zhi, Chris Sutherland, Ashiq Ahmad Khan, Tom McCarthy, David Borchers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Population Assessment of the World's Snow leopards (PAWS) initiative was launched to provide a scientifically robust estimate of global snow leopard population size, as prioritized by range countries in 2017. PAWS resulted in methodological development and training programs in all 12 range countries. PAWS uses model-based and design-based inference for abundance, and occupancy-based methods for distribution surveys and spatial capture-recapture methods for abundance estimation. Tools, guidelines and training assist field practitioners estimate snow leopard abundance at local, national, regional, and global scales. PAWS is supported by all snow leopard range countries, allowing government, NGO, institution, and individual collaboration. Over 159 PAWS surveys were conducted in 2015-21, covering nearly 10% of the species’ range with many more planned. PAWS identifies threats, potential climate refugia and the size and distribution of prey populations. National and regional snow leopard estimates are expected by 2023, allowing informed decision making for species conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSnow leopards
EditorsDavid Mallon, Tom McCarthy
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAcademic Press/Elsevier
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780323857758
ISBN (Print)9780323984584
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2023

Publication series

NameBiodiversity of the world: conservation from genes to landscapes


  • Abundance
  • Distribution
  • Global
  • Population assessment


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