Interesting facts about snow leopards
Of all the big cat species in the world, snow leopards remain the greatest mystery. They are elusive, and often referred to as “ghosts of the mountain”. It is extremely rare to encounter them in the wild unless you know how to track them.
These beautiful creatures are found high up in the mountains in Asia, where they live amongst the bitter cold and the pounding snow. While we are still learning about them, we can share some very interesting facts about snow leopards.
They have furry bellies
Snow leopards (Panthera Uncia) have fur along their stomachs that are nearly 5 inches thick! This helps keep them nice and warm in their icy-cold habitats.
Snow leopards prey on huge animals
The cats prey on animals that are almost 3 times their weight. Talk about big appetites!
They are territorial loners
Snow Leopards spend most of their lives in solitude. A study completed in 2014 showed that male snow leopards have a home range of more than 200 square kilometers, that’s roughly the size of Aruba! In addition to that, their ranges rarely overlap with members of the same sex, as they are some of the most territorial cats in the world.
They aren’t afraid of heights
Snow Leopards live at the highest altitudes of any other large cat. At heights of over 5,859 meters above sea level!
Snow leopards can’t roar
Snow leopards are missing a larynx, found in other big cats and instead of roaring like a lion or tiger, they hiss, growl and mew, and wail.
They aren’t yet endangered, but they are vulnerable
Snow Leopards are estimated to have populations between 3,500 and 7,000, but their elusiveness makes getting exact numbers difficult. China has the largest concentration of snow leopards with estimates at 2000 remaining members. They have not been added to the endangered list as of yet, but if illegal poaching continues, their fate may be destined. Changes to climate and habitat, are also starting to impact their numbers. As the planet warms and tree lines rise, their habitat shrinks.
At SEEtheWILD, we want to connect you with tour operators that are working towards furthering conservation efforts and bringing awareness to the declining numbers of snow leopards. Partners like Legends of the Wild and Mountain Travel Sobek take this role seriously and have taken the KEEPitWILD Pledge to keep wildlife wild.
Find out more about the KEEPitWILD Pledge here.
Learn more about the Snow Leopard trips our partners offer below:
Snow Leopard Camera Trapping – Legends of the Wild
Sarah is a travel writer, citizen of the world and lover of the Pacific Northwest and tacos. When not writing she can be found searching for her next travel destination or exploring with her dog, Otto.
Read about her adventures on her blog Sarah Seize the World and follow her on Instagram @sarahseizetheworld