Snow Leopard Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Snow Leopard

Scientific Name:

Panthera uncia

Wild Status:

Vulnderable

Habitat:

rocky, snowy mountain peaks.

Country:

India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Siberia

Shelter:

rocky cliff dens and ridge dens

Life Span:

10-12 years

Size:

120 lbs

Cool Facts:

  • Snow Leopards have small rounded ears to help with heat loss.
  • They have big, wide feet that help them to walk on snow.
  • Snow Leopard on their feet to help walk on steep snowy surfaces.
  • Snow Leopards can store fat in their tails.
  • Snow Leopards will use their tail to cover their face when sleeping in harsh conditions.
  • Countercurrent exchange helps to warm and humidify cold icy air breathed in by the Snow Leopard.
  • Snow Leopards live at very high altitudes.
  • There is believed to be over 8,500 Snow Leopards alive in the wild.
  • Snow Leopards love to feed on Himalayan Blue Sheep.
  • Snow Leopards are great hunters and ambush prey from above.

Details:

Snow Leopards is an elusive species that lives a solitary life in the top of multiple mountain ranges on the Asian continent, including the Himalayas.  They are a smaller, lower standing feline species with a white and grayish fur with gray spots.  They tails are bushy and they paws are very wide.  The largest of the Snow Leopards grow to be about 115-120 lbs and reaching 59 inches long.  Snow Leopards are sneaky hunters that are know to attack their prey from above. They have evolved incredible tools for surviving at such high, cold altitudes. Including having furs on the paws and nasal passages that help warm the air they breathe in. They specialize in bites to the back of the next and intense chase downs on rocky terrain. Snow Leopards are able to survive of good meals for a couple weeks and continue to hunt animals that are more plentiful due to seasonal changes. Enjoy the rest of the Snow Leopard season and don't forget to explore all the other cat species we have featured in the kids zone. 

Taxonomic Breakdown:

  • Kingdom:  Animalia
  • Phylum:  Chordata
  • Class:  Mammalia
  • Order:  Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Panthera
  • Species: Panthera uncia

Conservation & Helping:

Snow Leopards, like many big cats, have been facing threats from poaching for their fur and destruction of habitats.  The species is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, due to the number of remaining species in the wild.  Currently there are numerous groups that work together to protect the Snow Leopard, including the Snow Leopard Trust and TRAFFIC.   Many countries have come together for meetings to set agendas and create multiple country plans to protect the Snow Leopard. Snow Leopards populations are an indication of the mountain habitats overall health and this general fact is agreed upon by all countries lucky enough to have Snow Leopards and they are currently taking the proper actions to recognize that.   Snow Leopards are projected to see a population decline in the up coming years, but hopefully the key countries can make a difference in the lives of this species.

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