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The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is an endangered species of cat that lives in the mountains of Central Asia. The snow leopard is rare and secretive, and inhabits a harsh, remote environment. Yet scientists have pieced together a remarkably detailed understanding of the cat's biology and the factors that threaten its survival.
Snow Leopard Fact Sheet
Researchers estimate that there
are between 3,500 and 7,000
snow leopards left in the wild. No
one has an exact count because
snow leopards are so elusive and
inhabit such harsh and remote
habitat that they are rarely seen.
There are about 600 of these cats
in zoos around the world.
Adaptations for mountain life:
• Well developed chest
• Short forelimbs with large paws for
walking on snow
• Long hind-limbs for leaping
• Long flexible tail for balancing
Adaptations for cold:
• Enlarged nasal cavity
• Long fur with wooly undergrowth
• Thick furry tail for wrapping around
body and face
Snow leopards live throughout the
mountains of Central Asia in Afghanistan, Bhutan,
China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic,
Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and
Snow leopard range covers 2 million square
kilometers, about the size of Greenland or Mexico,
but is spread across the twelve countries. China
contains as much as 60% of snow leopard habitat.
The cats have already disappeared from some areas
where they formerly lived, such as parts of Mongolia.
Poaching – illegal hunting for the fur trade, and
trade in bones for traditional Asian medicine
Loss of prey – a decline in numbers of wild prey
due to hunting and competition with livestock for
Problem animals (depredators) – snow leopards kill
livestock and are killed by herders in retribution
Loss of habitat – more people and livestock move
into snow leopard range fragmenting habitat, so
snow leopards become isolated and vulnerable
Lack of effective protection – most protected
areas are too small to protect the home range of
even a single snow leopard, and many countries
cannot afford to pay rangers living wages
Lack of awareness and support – herders living
with snow leopards sometimes do not understand
why they are important elements of the ecosystem
and why they need to be protected
Ways YOU can Help
Whether your skills lie in event participation, administration, graphic design or science, we need your help!
SEARCH OR SHOP THE WEB MORE... REALLY!
GoodSearch.com is a Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate.
GoodShop.com is an online shopping mall which donates up to 37 percent of each purchase to your favorite cause! Stores like Amazon, Target, Gap, Best Buy, ebay, Macy's and Barnes & Noble have teamed up with GoodShop and every time you place an order, you'll be supporting your favorite cause. Just go to www.goodsearch.com and be sure to enter Snow Leopard Trust as the charity you wish to support. And then spread the word!
SIGN UP FOR OUR MONTHLY E-NEWS
It's free, fun and informative! Our monthly e-news keeps you up to date on snow leopard conservation and any new products on our online store AND we add lots of great photos!
Invite your friends and family to sign up, too!
Whether you draw, paint, sculpt, bead or take photographs, we are interested in partnering with you through our Artists in Conservation Program to raise awareness for snow leopards. Contact Gina Robertson, email@example.com, for more information.