Marc Filla

Georg-August-University Göttingen

Today, the world faces a loss of biodiversity that – due to its speed and magnitude – is characterized as a man-made mass extinction. Large carnivores often play an irreplaceable ecological role at the top of the food chain and are particularly threatened. This applies also to the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) that inhabits highlands in Central Asia and that is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is estimated that only about 3,000 mature individuals are left in the wild. Snow leopards face several anthropogenic threats, such as habitat loss, exploitation, loss of wild prey and direct persecution to prevent or to retaliate livestock depredation. These conflicts between humans and snow leopards (or other large carnivores) are likely to intensify as the human population grows and extends into relatively undisturbed natural systems. Therefore, this PhD project investigates the ecological causes of human-snow leopard conflicts and tests the applicability of various livestock protection measures. In cooperation with local partner institutions, we conduct intensive field surveys in the Annapurna Conservation Area (Nepal). We assess the relative abundances of wild prey available to snow leopards and interview local livestock owners. The aim of this research project is to identify and initiate suitable management measures that reduce conflicts between humans and snow leopards and thereby enable co-existence in the long run.

More information here

  • Managing co-existence between wildlife and humans
  • Monitoring wildlife populations
  • Conservation of large mammals
  • Effects of natural and man-caused factors on wildlife populations

B.Sc. Biology
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (2010-2014)

M.Sc. International Nature Conservation
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and Lincoln University (2014-2017)

Soofi M., Ghoddousi A., Zeppenfeld T., Shokri S., Soufi M., Egli L., Jafari A., Ahmadpour M., Qashqaei A., Ghadirian T., Filla M., Kiabi B., Balkenhol N., Waltert M. and Khorozyan I. 2018
Assessing the relationship between the intensity of illegal hunting of ungulates, wild prey occurrence and livestock depredation rate by large carnivores. Journal of Applied Ecology (online). doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13266

Filla M., Premier J., Magg N., Dupke C., Khorozyan I., Waltert M., Bufka L. and Heurich M. 2017.
Habitat selection by Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is primarily driven by avoidance of human activity during day and prey availability during night. Ecology and Evolution, doi:10.1002/ece3.3204. 

Wester P., Filla M. and Lunau K. 2016.
Floral scent and flower visitors of three green-flowered Costa Rican and Panamanian Blakea species (Melastomataceae) indicate birds rather than rodents as pollinators. Plant Ecology and Evolution 149: 319-328.