uncia or Panthera uncia
Habitat: alpine habitat along the Mongolian and Tibetan Plateau
Range: high mountains in Central Asia (Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan)
Natural Diet: mountain goats (Himalayan tahr and
markhor), sheep (bharal and argali), young yak, hares and birds
Status in the Wild: Endangered
Snow leopards are short and well-built
with thick fur and a long tail. Their thick fur helps keep them
warm during the winter season and their long tails help them keep
balance as they cross dangerous cliffs and rocky outcrops. Their
grey to white fur
with dark spots and rosettes help them camouflage well in rocky and snow
These cats are very elusive and rarely seen in the wild. They live on rocky terrains and alpine meadows in elevated mountain regions.
Females give birth to cubs during late spring and early summer.
Conservation: the population numbers of this species is declining in the wild due to the depletion in prey base, increased conflict with humans, poaching, and illegal trade.