Snow leopards are a species of big cat that lives in mountain habitats in Central Asia.1 They are solitary animals, and they usually are 4-5 feet long and have a tail that adds another 36 inches.1&2 Their habitats within the mountains include open forests, grasslands, and scrublands.3
These cats have thick fur to keep them warm and their pads are covered in fur to help them travel more easily over the snow.2&3 They are skilled jumpers and can jump 20 feet in the air and jump 50 across the ground horizontally.3
Snow leopards prey on blue sheep, ibex, hares, and marmots. Sometimes they’ll end up going after livestock, which can lead to problems with humans, who might retaliate against them.2 This is a problem because snow leopards are already marked as vulnerable by the IUCN. They have been considered endangered in the past but were changed to vulnerable.4That doesn’t mean they don’t face other risks to their survival. Interference in their habitats and poaching can negatively affect them.4 Another challenge is climate change, which can cause them to lose the amount of range they currently have and end up in conflicts for territory with other animals.2
Snow leopards are usually solitary and elusive in the wild, but they do mate at the start of the year.3 When females give birth, they will take care of their offspring for almost two years.1 After that, the offspring will go off on their own.3
Carnivores play an integral role in their habitats. Too often, they have an unwarranted bad reputation attached to them and they’re often targets of attacks because it’s thought they take down a lot of livestock.
We’re trying to combat this kind of information with the truth about these animals. But we can’t do it without your help.
When you donate to the Wolf Center, you’re supporting our mission to make a change for our carnivores and to introduce students and others to the wonderful wild world around us. We want to connect others with our wildlife so that we build a better future together.
If that sounds amazing to you, support us with a donation.