A number of reasons have combined to endanger snow leopards. Hunting, climate change and farm land encroaching on their habitat are among the major reasons for their population decline.Know More
One of the major reasons is that the organs, skin and bones in big cats are used in many Asian cultures for medicinal purposes. Tigers are more sought after, but they have become almost impossible to find in the wild. This means that other big cats must be substituted, and snow leopards have become a primary target. Poachers can earn as much as $200 for a dead snow leopard in an area where most people earn less than $300 per year, making them an extremely lucrative business.
Farmers have begun to move into snow leopard habitat. In doing so, their livestock has taken away habitat animals for snow leopards prey on. This forces the snow leopard to turn to the livestock as a food source. Farmers, concerned about their livestock, often kill snow leopards to protect them.
Climate change has also created issues, forcing the snow line further up mountains. The means the snow leopard must follow their prey higher up the mountain. At higher elevations, vegetation is more scare, meaning there is less prey for the leopard to eat.Learn more about Large Cats
Snow leopards are powerful predators that are only hunted by humans. While snow leopards are sometimes killed by humans for their meat, they are more often killed by poachers who sell the animal's fur, bones and other body parts to collectors and traditional Asian medicine practitioners.Full Answer >
Snow leopards are a central Asian species, preferring the high altitudes of mountain ranges like the Himalayas. Their habitat includes Afghanistan, Tibet, Russia, China, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Bhutan, India and Pakistan.Full Answer >
Several factors contribute to the endangerment of the amur leopard, including habitat destruction, human conflict, poaching, small population size and lack of genetic variation. It is estimated there are approximately 30 to 40 amur leopards remaining.Full Answer >
The spotted pattern of leopards helps camouflage them in several ways. The pattern of dark and light helps break up their visual outline, so they don't stand out so glaringly against the background. The spots resemble the shaded areas the cats usually inhabit, such as dappled forest floors or grasslands, says the University of California's Science Line.Full Answer >