Cats Wiki

Welcome to the Cats Wiki! Hope you enjoy learning and contributing here; but before you start doing that, please do read our Guidelines before you start providing constructive edits and to play it safe with the community.

Best wishes, The Cats Wiki Administrators.


Cats Wiki
Snow Leopard
Snow leopard wallpaper
Panthera Uncia

Central Asia



Scientific Classification















U. uncia

Conservation Status
(IUCN 3.1)

The snow leopard or ounce (Panthera uncia) is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because the global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature individuals and decline about 10% in the next 23 years. As of 2016, the global population was estimated at 4,678 to 8,745 mature individuals.

The snow leopard inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft), ranging from eastern Afghanistan to Mongolia and western China. In the northern range countries, it also occurs at lower elevations.

Taxonomically, the snow leopard was initially classified in the monotypic genus Uncia. Since 2008, it is considered a member of the genus Panthera based on results of genetic studies. Two subspecies were described based on morphological differences, but genetic differences between the two have not been confirmed. It is therefore regarded a monotypic species.

he snow leopard shows several adaptations for living in a cold, mountainous environment. Its body is stocky, its fur is thick, and its ears are small and rounded, features that help to minimize heat loss. Its broad paws well distribute the body weight for walking on snow, and have fur on their undersides to increase their grip on steep and unstable surfaces; it also helps to minimize heat loss. Its long and flexible tail helps to maintain balance in the rocky terrain. The tail is also very thick due to fat storage, and is very thickly covered with fur, which allows the cat to use it like a blanket to protect its face when asleep.

The snow leopard cannot roar, despite possessing partial ossification of the hyoid bone. This partial ossification was previously thought to be essential for allowing the big cats to roar, but new studies show that the ability to roar is due to other morphological features, especially of the larynx, which are absent in the snow leopard. Snow leopard vocalizations include hisses, chuffing, mews, growls, and wailing.

The snow leopard is distributed from the west of Lake Baikal through southern Siberia, in the Kunlun Mountains, in the Russian Altai mountains, Sayan and Tannu-Ola Mountains, in the Tian Shan, across Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to the Hindu Kush in eastern Afghanistan, Karakoram in northern Pakistan, in the Pamir Mountains, and in the high altitudes of the Himalayas in India, Nepal, and Bhutan, and the Tibetan Plateau. In Mongolia, it is found in the Mongolian and Gobi Altai Mountains and the Khangai Mountains. In Tibet, it is found up to the Altyn-Tagh in the north.

Snow Leopards live in mountainous areas of central Asia. They have grey-green, yellow, or blue eyes and long, thick, gray-ish white to even tan fur with dark gray or black spots. The legs are comparatively short, with large, broad paws to help them not sink into the snow. They have very large tails to keep them warm in their cold habitat, protecting their face from frostbite. they like to chew on their tails too. They are accomplished at climbing rocky crags.

Snow Leopards rarely attack humans. There has only been 2 snow leopard attacks in history, in which one was rabid, and the other, old and toothless. Snow leopards are confirmed the most passive big cats to humans. Sadly, this adds on too snow leopards giving up on prey when they feel threatened and don't normally defend themselves when attacked.

As tigers grow scarce, snow leopards are hunted to make remedies from their bones. They are also killed because they prey on livestock. In which a better way to stop that is to scare the cat off, instead of kill it. Snow Leopards are illegally poached for various reasons, such as their body parts, but normally, the poacher fortunately gets arrested, most of the time. There are only in range of 7,000-4,000 snow leopards left. We need your help to stop hunting and poaching and save this beautiful and harmless cat.