Snow leopard

Snow leopard

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