Why in news :
- A snow leopard has been sighted for the first time at a height of about 11,120 feet in the Darma valley in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.
More about Snow Leopard :
- It is native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia.
- It inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations of 3,000–4,500 m (9,800–14,800 ft), ranging from eastern Afghanistan, the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau to southern Siberia, Mongolia and Western China.
- In the northern part of its range, it also lives at lower elevations.
- The snow leopard’s fur is whitish to grey with black spots on head and neck, with larger rosettes on the back, flanks and bushy tail.
- The belly is whitish. Its eyes are pale green or grey in color. Its muzzle is short and its forehead domed. Its nasal cavities are large.
- The snow leopard shows several adaptations for living in a cold, mountainous environment.
- Its small rounded ears help to minimize heat loss.
Conservation status :
- IUCN : Vulnerable
- WPA, 1972 : Schedule I
- CITES : Appendix I
Syllabus : Prelims; Environment