Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Snow leopard facts



This is the greatest list of interesting facts about snow leopards on the Internet, and is regularly updating.

Basic facts:

Height: About 2 feet (.6m) at shoulders.
Length: 6-7.5 feet (1.8-2.3m) (includes 40-inch (1m) tail length).
Weight: 77-120 lbs (35-55 kg).
Female snow leopards are about 30% smaller than males.
Lifespan: Their reclusive nature makes it hard to determine snow leopard lifespan in the wild. They have, however, been known to live for as long as 21 years in captivity.

Reproduction
Mating Season: Between January and mid-March.
Gestation: period 3-3 ½ months.
Litter size: 2-3 cubs.
Females give birth in rocky dens lined with their fur. The young follow their mother on hunts at three months and remain with her through their first winter


1. Panthera Uncia, Snow Leopards reside in mountain ranges across Central and South Asia.

2. They are unique for their habitat, lifestyle and the inability to roar - a fact that precludes their inclusion into great cats.

3. Living at altitudes above four to five thousand metres, in harsh climates and over treacherous terrains, Snow Leopards are amongst the most specialized of all land predators.

4. To adapt to their extreme environment, the Snow Leopards have evolved into possessing a thick coat, to protect them against cold, and large furry paws that enable them to tread comfortably over snow.

5. They also have a large thick tail that provides a balancing role in quick movements over uncertain hilly ground, and may be curled up against the face in cold weather.

6. Like all leopards, Snow Leopards are extremely strong and agile. They are capable of preying upon animals three times their own size.

7. The prey species normally taken down by the leopards include wild sheep and goats.

8. Snow Leopards can leap farther than any other cat, reaching distances of well over forty feet in a single bound.

9. The inaccessibility of their geographic range means that limited research has been done over these reclusive and solitary felines in nature, and they have seldom been captured on film in the wild.

10. Fortunately their remote location has also enabled the cats to return from near extinction in recent times and evade poachers who treasure the leopards' beautiful fur coat.

11. Still the Snow Leopards are currently classified as endangered and are protected today by law and various conservation organizations in many parts of their range.

12. The threats facing these majestic cats today include poaching, conflicts with man and loss of habitat and prey.

13. Despite the many adversities, the beautiful Snow Leopard is still hanging on, but only just!

14. Very rare in most of their range, an estimated 3,500 to 7,000 snow leopards are left in the wild, with 600-700 in zoos around the world. Exact numbers in the wild have not been determined due to the snow leopard’s shy nature.

 

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