Snow Leopard

Latin Name: Panthera uncia

Location(s): Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

Description: Unlike their larger cousin, the tiger, Snow Leopards are offered little protection in their native habitats. The Snow Leopard’s native habitat is closely tied to grazing grounds of its preferred prey, which is also the same land that farmers wish to use for their livestock. This leads to a reduction in prey animals due to competition with livestock, which leads the leopards to turn to the livestock for food. The taking of livestock often leads to retribution killing by farmers.

The Snow Leopard is also intentionally hunted for it fur, as well as for other body parts that are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a substitute for much more rare tiger parts, including bones, claws meat and sexual organs. Poaching of live animals for use in circuses and zoos is also depleting the wild populations.

Over the past decade, much of the Snow Leopard’s native range in the Near East has been an area of major military conflict. Damage to the habitat from military action and the demands of displaced peoples for local resources have had a significant impact on the animals’ habitat..