Facts About Snow Leopards

Snow leopards were put on the endangered species list in the late 1970’s. They are losing their habitat due to deforestation and farmland expansion. They are very anti-social creatures, and only come together during mating season, which is from January to mid March. They have hunting areas of over 100 miles. To learn more about snow leopards then just keep reading.

Location

Snow leopard (Panthera uncia).
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia).

Snow leopards are found in Asia, mainly in mountainous regions. They are not confined to one area, as they are found all over Asia. They like evergreen forests and rocky terrain. They make their burrows in rocky areas where they can find openings that provide protection. They often hide in their burrows and pounce on unsuspecting prey.

Looks

The snow leopard is a beautiful creature. They have light grey or green eyes, unlike other large cats that have yellow or brown eyes. Their fur is a light grayish color that is covered in dark brown or black spots. And their underbellies are white in color. Their tails are extra long and often are used to protect the snow leopards mouth and nose when it is extremely cold.

Babies

A female snow leopard has a gestation period of about 98 days. She can give birth to 1-4 pups. The pups will open their eyes in about a week. The pups drink milk from mom until about 2 months, and then they get solid foods. Around 3 months they tag along on hunting trips. They typically stay with the mother threw their first winter and leave just over a year to a year and a half after birth.

Endangered

Snow leopard range. Map by BBC.
Snow leopard range. Map by BBC.

Snow leopards are endangered because of several different factors. First they are being hunted for their furs. They have a very beautiful fur pattern, and their furs are much desired in Russia, Europe and central Asia. They are also being threatened by global warming. The snow leopard lives near the timberline of the mountains. This is where the trees stop growing and where the snow starts. With the snow receding due to the warming the snow leopards keep moving up the mountain. They can’t find enough food usually when this happens.

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