Ghost of the Mountains (Panthera uncia)
Located in Central Asia to the Middle East.
Habit and Habitats
-Their diet mainly consists of boars, ibex, marmots, and other small rodents.
-There are 4,000 to 6,500 snow leopards left in the wild because of human threats.
The red highlighted areas are where the snow leopard is located.
A common prey of the snow leopard.
The Mountains of Central Asia
The habitat of the snow leopard.
-Poaching: for their pelts and for uses of bones and parts of the leopard highly valued in Asian medicine.
-Retribution killings: farmers kill the snow leopards with any method convientent because of the domestic livestock that the snow leopards are forced to hunt because of the lack of resources available for the leopards.
-Loss of habitat and prey: because of the demand for livestock, there are an increasing number of grazing animals that over graze and take of more of the snow leopard's habitat.
-Mining: the methods for mining, such as dangerous explosives, and chemicals to extract minerals, are disturbing the habitat, forcing the big cats out of the area.
-Lack of resources: the government and people of the areas don't have the money to aid the snow leopards because the money is needed in other areas of their economy etc.
*The current status of the snow leopard is endangered, though thankfully the population is improving with efforts.
Why? What is being done? Importance!
There are multiple organisations and actions currently helping to preserve snow leopards such as the Snow Leopard Foundation, Snow Leopard Enterprises (a company that helps local women raise their home income by 40% by making wool items), livestock insurance for the farmers that loose their livestock to bigger predators, and Conservation Education programs that inform herders of the importance of the leopards.
If the species were to go extinct, their prey would drastically increase causing a drastic decrease in their food source causing a chain reaction, which will eventually effect the local people even more than the snow leopards do now. Safe a Snow Leopard now at: http://www.snowleopard.org/