Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard (found on creative commons search for snow leopard)
Snow Leopard (found on creative commons search for snow leopard)
stephen-oachs-pic-of-the-year-20082.jpg
Snow Leopard (found on creative commons search of snow leopard)


HISTORY

-Scientific Name: Uncia uncia, and is classified as mammalia.

-Class: carnivora.

-Family: Felidae

-"The range of the snow leopard is all of central Asia. This cat has always inhabited all of central Asia, but their range is decreasing everyday due to loss of habitat. This also gives them a smaller range to find their prey which is another major contribution to their endangerment."

-"Lifespan- Fifteen to Eighteen years."

-"There is not an exact estimate of how many snow leopards are left in the world, but a rough estimate shows that there are 4,500 to 5,000 of these cats left in the world. The main cause to their small population would be poaching for furs."

Protecting the Snow Leopard

-There are a few laws/programs that have been put in place to protect the snow leopard. One of the main reasons these laws were made, are because the fur on the snow leopard is "considered a trophy" when it comes to hunting. "The fur is used to create full body length pelts, which can be found in central Asia."

-"The International Snow Leopard Trust was created in Seattle as a non-profit corporation working on conservation of the snow leopard and its mountain habitat."

-"There are approximately 500 leopards in 150 zoos world-wide. Many zoos are involved in a snow leopard species survival project, a coordinated breeding program among zoos. The goal of this project is to maintain a genetically sound population in hope that these animals may someday be released into the wild."

-"Other methods of conservation include habitat protection, captive breeding, stiff penalties for those harming them, and public education."


The Snow Leopard's Niche

-"Most snow leopards basically stay in the grassland biome where there is proper rainfall for itself (25-75 cm/year)."

-"Within this biome, the snow leopard survives near high mountain slopes, near the tree-lines."

-"It also lives in dense thickets, crevices in rocks, or in caves."

-"This carnivore does most of its chores during the daytime and in the nightime it will catch up on its rest."

-"Snow leopards attack usually from a distance up to fifteen meters and feed initially on the chest, lower abdomen, or thigh."

-"Their prey includes wild sheep, wild boar, hares, mice, deer, marmots, and other small mammals."

-"They also feed on domestic livestock. Prey is either attacked or ambushed."

-"Snow leopards inhabit the mountain ranges of Central Asia stretching from northwestern China to Tibet and the Himalayas."

-"They have home ranges of varying size depending on prey density."

-"Sexual maturity is reached at two or three years, and mating occurs between early January and mid-March. Cubs remain with their mother until they are 18-22 months old."


Pressures That Have Led to Its Endangerment

-"The Snow Leopard population has increasingly come under pressure as a result of poaching for furs, loss of habitat caused by deforestation and dam projects, and because of the loss of habitat, their food source is becoming more and more scarce."


Citations

"Snow Leopard". International Fund for Animal Welfare. 10/12/09 <http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_international/save_animals/other/snow_leopard.php>.

Schulz, Katia. "Uncia uncia". Encylopedia of Life. 10/13/09 <http://www.eol.org/pages/328676>.

World Book, Editors. World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago, Illinois: Field Enterprises, 1944-1984.

"Snow Leopard". K.E.W.A.. 10/13/09 <http://www.kewa.org/snow.html>.

Garman, Andrew. "Snow Leopard". Big Cats Online. 10/13/09 <http://www.agarman.dial.pipex.com/snowlep.htm>.

"Snow Leopard". Animal Planet. 10/13/09 <http://animal.discovery.com/guides/mammals/habitat/alpine/snwleopard.html>.