Snow leopards are the smallest of all big cats, and are perfectly adapted to the high, steep, and rocky terrain of their native habitat in the mountains of Central Asia. These endangered big cats can even be found on Mt. Everest. Their fur color varies from white to pale yellow or gray, with darker gray rosettes – helping them achieve near-perfect camouflage. Their long tails act as rudders for balance and their large paws act as snow shoes.
Snow leopards are carnivores, with a diet consisting of ibexes, blue sheep, and other native animals. They are also known for killing domestic sheep and goats, which is the main cause for human/animal conflict – responsible for much of the population decline of snow leopards. The Snow Leopard Conservancy and other organizations like it work with the herders in these areas to help keep snow leopards away from their herds in order to protect this endangered species.
- Conservation StatusEndangered
- Life spanup to 20 years
Body size55-115 lbs.
- Native habitat High, steep, rocky mountainous terrain of Alpine and Sub-Alpine regions of Central Asia
- DietBlue sheep, ibex, marmot, woolly hare