Snow Leopard

Affected areas for the Elephant Affected areas for the Rhinoceros Affected areas for the Tiger Affected areas for the Snow Leopard Affected areas for the Moon Bear Affected areas for the Painted Dog Affected areas for Climate Change Affected areas for Pollution Affected areas for Habitat Loss Affected areas for Wildlife Crime

Snow Leopard

Snow leopards are unique predators, perfectly adapted to the cold, barren landscape of their high-altitiude home. 

Due to their elusive nature, and the challenging terrain of their habitat, very little is known about the life of the snow leopard in the wild. However, new technology, including GPS collars, is starting to give researchers a better understanding of the life of the snow leopard.

Unfortunately, despite being the top predator in their habitat, snow leopards are highly threatened by poaching, killings in retaliation for livestock deaths and extensive habitat loss from mining.

Snow Leopards LOCATION

View Location from Google Earth

Snow leopards live in fragmented populations in a massive area throughout the mountains of Central Asia which cross into Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The total area is 2 million sqkm!

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation helps to protect the snow leopard in Mongolia through research, monitoring and anti-poaching programmes and by engaging with local communities to ensure that they benefit directly from their wildlife rather than persecuting it.

Snow leopards can survive harsh mountains winters where temperatures drop to -35°C

Snow Leopard Facts

Snow leopards' bushy tails act as a scarf to keep them warm!

Snow leopards are ideally suited for survival in their often freezing environment - round, short ears reduce heat loss; wide, short nasal cavities heat the chilled air before it reaches their lungs; extra-large paws stop them sinking into the snow.

Although not yet verified, it is thought that the average lifespan of a wild snow leopard is about six years. A relatively small cat, snow leopards weigh approximately 50kg and measure between 0.9m - 1.15m from their head to rump, with a tail up to 1m in length.

Snow leopard diets vary across their range - from blue sheep in the Himalayas to ibex in Pakistan, China, and Kazakhstan and additional small prey such as hares, and larger birds like chukor. Opportunistic hunters, they may also attack livestock which can lead to retaliatory snow leopard killings by farmers.

With a pale, spotted coat, snow leopards are perfectly camouflaged and difficult to spot. Their short, strong legs and long, thick tail, which helps with balance, enables them to climb vertically and leap across the crevices and chasms of their rough, mountainous habitat.

Sit back and watch

Video Updates

Watch this amazing footage of snow leopards and the issues that they face.

Help the Snow Leopard

You can help to protect the snow leopard by supporting the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) and our work.  Adopt our charismatic snow leopard, or perhaps do some fundraising with your school or as an individual!  DSWF also has an annual art and poetry competition that you can enter to help raise awareness of the plight of endangered wildlife worldwide.

Photography courtesy of Dennis Conner, Kyle McCarthy and Steve Tracy courtesy of Snow Leopard Trust and Bayad-e-Kohsaar.

Video © BBC Earth

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