Snow Leopard: Facts and Information

Snow Leopard Fact File

Latin Name: Panthera uncia

Colour: White and yellow, with black stripes and spots.

Length: 2.3m (about 7′ 6″)

Habitat: The slopes of mountains (up to heights of about 3000 metres)

Range: Mountainous regions of Asia (including, Russia, Tibet and China)

Facts About Snow Leopards

  • Snow leaopards are also known as ounces.
  • They are quite similar to true leopards in terms of their colour, size and markings. Snow leaopards have longer tails, are more slender and they have a much thicker fur.
  • In winter months, the snow leopard’s coat can be up to 10 cm thick and covers all of its body. This helps to protect it from the extremely low night-time temperatures.
  • Snow leopards eat mainly small birds and animals. They will eat something as small as a mouse, but are also able to hunt mountain goats.
  • Mountian leopards mate in the summer and give birth to their young in the spring. Two or three mountain leopard kittens are usually born in each litter.
  • They hardly come into contact with humans – their mountain habitats are often remote and uninhabited – although they have been known to prey on flocks of sheep and goats.
  • Although it is difficult to say with certainty how many snow leopards live in the mountains today, it has been estimated that their numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years due to the facts that they have been hunted for their coats.

Have look at this fantastic clip of a snow leopard pursuing a mountain goat. It demonstrates just how well adapted the animals are to the harsh and unforgiving mountain environment.

What next? Find out more facts about mountains, or have a look at some of our other animal fact files.

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