Surname: Snow leopard
Other names: Irbis
Latin name: Panthera uncia
size: 80 - 120cm
mass: 35 - 80kg
Older: 6 - 14 years
Appearance: white-gray fur, dotted in black
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Carnivore
food: Hare, wild boar, deer, sheep
distribution: Russia, Mongolia, China, India, Nepal
original origin: Central Asia
Sleep-wake rhythm: day and night active
habitat: alpine and subalpine vegetation zones above 3000m
natural enemies: Wolf
sexual maturity: from the age of three
mating season: February March
gestation: 90 - 100 days
litter size: 1 - 3 cubs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the snow leopard
- The snow leopard or Panthera uncia describes a large cat species that is found only in high mountain ranges of Central Asia and is also known under the name Irbis.
- Its circulation area covers with Russia, Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan as well as Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bhutan and Afghanistan over altogether twelve countries.
- In all countries, the snow leopard occurs only in mountainous areas from three thousand meters high. The highest population is detected in Tibet.
- The snow leopard inhabits mainly dry and rocky landscapes, boulders and snowy areas.
- It rarely lives in coniferous forests, consistently avoiding densely forested areas.
- With its white-gray fur covered with dark gray, ring-shaped patches, the snow leopard is perfectly camouflaged in the barren landscape of its habitats.
- His muscular physique, with short stocky legs and thick paws, allows him to easily climb the rocks.
- The snow leopard has a dense hairy and relatively long tail, which serves him on the one hand as a helm while jumping, on the other hand as cold protection.
- With a maximum shoulder height of 65 centimeters, he is slightly smaller than his distant relative, the leopard.
- The snow leopard, like most big cats, is a solitary species that only very rarely unites into loose groups of no more than six animals.
- It moves depending on the area of distribution in a district that can be up to four hundred square kilometers in size. However, he lays on his raids as a very local animal only distances of a few kilometers daily back.
- The area is only marked during the mating season with scratch marks, urine and feces.
- After an average gestation period of about one hundred days in summer, the female gives birth to several pups, who already receive solid food at the age of two months and spend almost two years in the care of their mother.
- Depending on their range, snow leopards can catch deer, bucks, other ungulates and wild boars, as well as marmots, hares and chicken birds. The snow leopard also consumes vegetable food such as branches.
- Since they often approach human settlements on their forays, they are occasionally victims of farm animals such as sheep, donkeys, horses or yaks.
- Many juveniles are captured by wolves and in some regions also by leopards.
- The worldwide inventory is estimated today at about 5000 copies. Through illegal hunting, intense persecution and climate change, the snow leopard is now classified as endangered.
- In captivity snow leopards reach the age of twenty.