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Snow Leopard of Mongolia


The snow leopard's fur is whitish to gray with black spots on head and neck, but 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 fur is thick with hairs between 5 and 12 cm (2.0 and 4.7 in) long. Its body is stocky, short-legged and slightly smaller than the other cats of the genus Panthera, reaching a shoulder height of 56 cm (22 in), and ranging in head to body size from 75 to 150 cm (30 to 59 in). Its tail is 80 to 105 cm (31 to 41 in) long.


The density of the population is higher in Mongol Altai and Gobi Altai continued mountains and lake vicinities but lower in Hangay and Khovsgol mountains. Distribution areas are vast, but populations are fragmented/separated.


Mongolia hosts about 13–22% of the estimated global snow leopard population in less than 10% of the total range of the species. The total population in Mongolia was about 1,000 individuals (Shaller et al.,1994), but it was 500-1000 individuals according to the survey conducted in 2000 (McCarthy and Chapron, 2003).


In recent over a decade, the heads of livestock were significantly increased and overgrazing was spread in mountainous areas. As a result, the Ibex and Argali, prey species of snow leopard, have been pushed away from their suitable habitats.  Thus, it negatively impacts on the species existence within its suitable habitats and lead to the habitat loss. Due to lack of wild prey (e.g. marmot, ibex, argali, and snowcock), the snow leopard attacks at domestic livestock.


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