Snow Leopard Pictures

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Snow Leopard

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Andrea Pistolesi / Getty Images.

Snow leopards are mountain-dwelling cats that live throughout the ranges of South and Central Asia at altitudes between 9,800 and 16,500 feet. Snow leopards are classified as endangered and their population is declining due to habitat destruction and a dwindling prey base.

Snow leopards live in mountainous habitat in South and Central Asia at altitudes between 9,800 and 16,500 feet. Its range includes the countries of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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Snow Leopard

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Tom Brakefield / Getty Images.

Snow leopards inhabit a variety of high-altitude habitats including open coniferous forests and rocky shrub lands and steppe.

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Snow Leopard

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Tom Brakefield / Getty Images.

The snow leopard is a shy species and spends much of its time hidden in caves and rocky crevices. During the summer, the snow leopard lives at higher altitudes, often above the tree line in mountainous meadows higher than 8,900 feet. In winter, it descends to lower forest habitat that lis between about 4,000 and 6,000 feet.

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Snow Leopard

Photo © Tom Brakefield / Getty Images.

Snow leopards are most active during the hours at dawn and dusk, making them crepuscular animals. They occupy home ranges but are not overly territorial and do not defend their home range aggressively against intrusion of other snow leopards. They lay claim to their territory using urine and scat scent marks.

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Snow Leopard Cubs

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Tom Brakefield / Getty Images.

Snow leopards, like most cats with the exception of lions, are solitary hunters. Mothers do spend time with cubs though, rearing them without assistance from the father. When snow leopard cubs are born they are blind but protected by a thick coat of fur.

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Snow Leopard

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Tom Brakefield / Getty Images.

Snow leopard litters can range in size from one to five cubs (usually there are two or three). Cubs can walk at five weeks of age and are weened at ten weeks. They venture out of the den by about four months of age and remain at their mothers side until about the age of 18 months when they disperse to their own territories.

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Snow Leopard on Cliff

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Tom Brakefield / Getty Images.

Little is known about the snow leopard due to its reclusive nature and its remote range which stretches through a dozen countries and reaches high into the Himalayas.

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Snow Leopard on Cliff

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Tom Brakefield / Getty Images.

Snow leopards thrive in habitat inhospitable to humans. They inhabit mountainous terrain where exposed rock and deep cut ravines shape the landscape. They live at elevations of between 3000 and 5000 meters or more where winters are bitter and mountain peaks are snow packed.

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Snow Leopard

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Tom Brakefield / Getty Images.

The snow leopard is well adapted for the cold temperatures of its high-altitude habitat. It has a plush coat of fur that grows quite long—the fur on its back grows to one inch in length, the fur on its tail is two inches long, and the fur on its belly reaches three inches in length.

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Snow Leopard

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Photo 24 / Getty Images.

Snow leopards do not roar, although they are classified within the Panthera, a group also referred to as the roaring cats which includes lions, leopards, tigers, and jaguars.

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Snow Leopard

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Baerni / Wikipedia.

The base color of the snow leopard's coat is a warm gray color on its back which fades to white on it's belly. The coat is covered with dark spots. Individual spots cover the cat's limbs and face. On its back, the spots form rosettes. Its tail is striped and is very long when compared to that of other cats (its tail can be equal in length to the cat's body).

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Snow Leopard

Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia. Photo © Photo 24 / Getty Images.

Despite not roaring, snow leopards do possess the anatomical features thought to enable roaring (which include an elongated larynx and hyoid apparatus).

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Your Citation
Klappenbach, Laura. "Snow Leopard Pictures." ThoughtCo, Jan. 13, 2018, thoughtco.com/snow-leopard-pictures-4123139. Klappenbach, Laura. (2018, January 13). Snow Leopard Pictures. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/snow-leopard-pictures-4123139 Klappenbach, Laura. "Snow Leopard Pictures." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/snow-leopard-pictures-4123139 (accessed May 20, 2018).