Where do snow leopards live?
Snow leopards live in the mountains of central Asia, predominantly in Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
They live in areas between 9100 to 15400 feet where there is year-round snow cover.
Snow leopards prefer rocky ridges with cliffs and ravines.
They will also live in scrubby alpine meadows, alpine forests, and tree lines.
Snow leopards like to be where there is a good source of water and prey, but they can’t be found on extremely steep slopes or deep within valleys because the snow line isn’t high enough there for them to survive.
How Snow Leopards Live
They are primarily solitary animals for most of the year.
They do come together to mate, but they probably have ranges that overlap very little.
It’s uncommon to see more than one snow leopard in the same area at once.
Males are more likely to travel further than females because males need a bigger range to catch prey and female ranges are usually more consistent.
Each animal has a territory of 10-50 square miles (26-130 sq km).
Snow leopards can travel up to 19 mph (30 kph) when running flat out, but they stay hidden most of the time so they don’t often have to run very far for food.
They hunt animals like blue sheep, ibex, or markhors.
They sneak up on their prey until they are within about 30 feet (9 m) away.
Then they pounce on them and kill them by biting their necks.
Snow Leopard Conservation Status
Habitat destruction is the biggest threat to snow leopards in the last few decades.
Poaching is also a problem because their fur is very valuable.
Farmers also kill snow leopards because they see them as a threat to their livestock.
They’re also accidentally caught in traps meant for other animals, like wolves or bears.
The snow leopard is an endangered species.
However, there are organizations working together to protect this beautiful wild cat like the Snow Leopard Conservancy.
Check out our other animal FAQs here: