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Snow Leopard

Page history last edited by wikiuser0026 11 years, 10 months ago

          The snow leopard also known as the ounce, is a large cat native to the mountainous regions of Central Asia. Despite being a mighty predator, it is currently an endangered species because it is hunted for its beautiful fur coat and the medicinal powers of its bones. Outside poachers, often assisted by local herdsman are, in part, responsible for placing the future existence of these beautiful creatures at risk. Another reason for their difficulty surviving is the increasing destruction and invasion of their habitat by humans.  


      Snow Leopard Documentary 1

      Snow Leopard Documentary 2 







  •  Common Name - Snow Leopard


  • Scientific Class - Mammal
  • Scientific Genus - Uncia               species- Uncia uncia 



  •  Where Found - Biome: Grassland     
  • Countries - 12 countries in Central Asia make up most of the Snow Leopards habitat. These include Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan (map below)






          Map outlining geographic distribution of Snow Leopard (in green) 





  • Special adaptations to it's environment include:
    • well developed chest that increases lung capacity, which in turn increases ability to get oxygen at high mountain altitudes.
    • short front legs, big paws, long hind limbs, and a thick tail help with balance. 


    • long body hairs help trap a layer of insulating air against the skin surface, which protects them from the cold.


    • their wide feet act like snowshoes, which makes them more agile in snow-covered terrain and protect them from sharp rocks. 


    • their ears are small and rounded, all of which help to minimise heat-loss.


    • an unusual trait is the Snow Leopard's inability to roar. This could be interpreted as a disadvantage as it could be used as a defense to scare away predators. 


  • Description - 
    • Length: 39 - 51 inches
    • Height: 60 cm
    • Weight: 60 - 120 lbs.
    • Type of body cover: fur
    • General description: Long, whitish, smoke-gray fur with dark spots. Large paws, wooly under-fur, and a thick, long tail.
    • Endothermic (makes its own body heat) 
    • Name of young: Cubs cubs calling  cubs at play
    • Name of group of this animal - a leap of leopards
    • Names of two related species - Cheetah and Panther  
    • Type of eater - carnivore     
    • Prey: sheep, goats, hare, birds and domestic livestock      






  • Forms of Communication:


                                               Snow leopards communicate by scraping dirt with their paws, spraying urine over and near their dens, and marking certain areas with their feces. These are ways of marking territory. They use sounds to communicate with each other.  




  • Is this animal endangered, on the watch list or doing fine? 


                                                                                                                         The Snow Leopard is currently an endangered species. The total wild population of the snow leopard is estimated at between 4,000 and 7,500 individuals. In 1972 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, (IUCN) placed the snow leopard on its Red List of Threatened Species as "Endangered". There are numerous groups working to conserve the snow leopard and its threatened mountain ecosystems. These groups and numerous snow leopard country governments recently worked together at the 10th International Snow Leopard Conference in Beijing. Their focus is aimed at understanding the cat's needs as well as the needs of the villagers and herder communities impacting snow leopards' lives and habitat. There are also 600-700 snow leopards in zoos around the world.



What is causing the problem?


                                             The combined influence of habitat destruction and continued hunting practices of humans has resulted in the current endangered situation of the Snow Leopard. The value of their pelt continues to tempt poachers to track down and kill these beautiful creatures. 



How does it capture food ?


                                                     The Snow Leopard studies it's prey while watching from afar. He prefers to observe his victim from a height and then pounces unannounced.



What type of defense does it have?

                                                       Snow leopards are not normally aggressive but will become so when they or their cubs are threatened. As a main defense, snow leopards will usually run away.



  • Interesting or unusual behaviors:          Snow Leopards are amazing jumpers (they can jump from a height of 14 meters). They are shy, elusive cats, the least aggressive from the cat family. The Snow Leopard has never been known to attack a human being!   



Give an example of a symbiotic relationship with another organism in it's ecosystem: (commensalism)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Snow Leopards symbiotic relationship is with the Tibetan Blue Sheep. The Snow Leopard feeds off of the weakest sheep of the flock. That way the Snow Leopard benefits with a full belly and the flock of Tibetan Blue Sheep is not harmed because the sheep is no use to them anyway, but the flock is not helped either for it does not get anything from the Snow Leopard in return and that is why this symbiotic relationship is commensalism.     





Snow Leopard profile            

Snow leopard photo gallery at National Geographic                 



World of Wildlife, Anthony and Jaqueline Nayman, pages 316-317, 1979  



Comments (12)

wikiuser0014 said

at 5:22 pm on Nov 18, 2008

wow! lol


wikiuser0021 said

at 8:30 pm on Nov 18, 2008


wikiuser0012 said

at 7:31 pm on Nov 19, 2008

wow...question...how do you add pictures without using a slideshow???

MH(not Mitchel)

wikiuser0032 said

at 8:32 pm on Nov 21, 2008

AWESOME RACHEL!!! Are you already done?

~ Maggie

wikiuser0048 said

at 10:20 am on Nov 24, 2008


wikiuser0009 said

at 8:08 pm on Nov 24, 2008

nice job rachel!!!! keep it up!! ur so done!!!!!

~A.G (not anna)

wikiuser0022 said

at 5:50 pm on Nov 30, 2008

annie likey. nice job, rachel

wikiuser0008 said

at 5:59 pm on Nov 30, 2008

Wow Rachel! Thats awsome!!!! Are you done?
ag( not aaron)

wikiuser0022 said

at 6:17 pm on Nov 30, 2008

i luv the pictures!!!!!!!! so cute!! :):):):)


wikiuser0012 said

at 7:32 am on Dec 1, 2008

nice job! LUV the pics!

MH(only mh that would comment on this.)(NOT mitchel)

wikiuser0032 said

at 4:25 pm on Dec 2, 2008

That is the best webpage sofar!! Keep it up!!


wikiuser0045 said

at 5:23 pm on Dec 2, 2008

wow the first pic is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!


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