Snow leopard in Mongolia

Snow leopard in Mongolia

Snow leopard in Mongolia

The snow leopard (Uncia uncia), sometimes known as the ounce, is a moderately large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia. The classification of this species has been subject to change and its exact taxonomic position is still unclear.

Snow leopards in Mongolia are smaller than the other big cats but like them, exhibit a range of sizes, generally weighing between 27 and 54 kg (60–120 lb). Body length ranges from 74–130 cm (39–51 in) with a tail of nearly the same length.

Snow leopards have long thick fur, the base color of which varies from smokey grey to yellowish tan, with whitish underparts. They have dark grey to black open rosettes on their body with small spots of the same color on their heads and larger spots on their legs and tail.

Snow leopards show several adaptations for living in cold mountainous environments of Mongolia. Their bodies are stocky, their fur is thick, and their ears are small and rounded, all of which help to minimize heat-loss.

Their feet are wide, which distributes their weight better for walking on snow, and they have fur on their undersides to increase their traction on steep and unstable surfaces, as well as to assist with minimizing heat-loss.

Snow leopards' tails are long and flexible which help them to maintain their balance. The tails are also especially thickly covered with fur which, apart from minimizing heat-loss, allows them to be used like a blanket to protect their faces when asleep.

The snow leopard's range in central and south Asia is rugged mountainous regions of approximately 1,230,000 square kilometers, which extends through 12 countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

In Mongolia snow leopard is found in the Mongolian and Gobi Altai and the Khangai Mountains, total 101,000 square km and estimated number of snow leopards in Mongolia are 500-1000.

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