Snow Leopard

The Snow leopard is a wonderful and majestic endangered animal. There are anywhere between 4,510 and 7,350 left in the wild. This diminutive number of Snow Leopards resides mainly in the countries of China, Kyrgyzstan and, Mongolia in Central Asia. The snow leopard occupies an extremely patchy and fragmented realm of long narrow mountain systems and islands scattered throughout a vast region surrounding the Central Asian deserts and plateaus. Though this region is quite large, 2.3 million km2, only about 1.6 million of that is occupied by the snow leopard. Though most snow leopards are associated with arid or semi-arid shrub lands and grasslands, some are located mountains of Russia where they are also to be found in open coniferous forest, though disdain dense woodland.
The diet of the Snow leopard consists mainly of wild sheep and goats (blue sheep, Asian ibex, markhor and argali), marmots (often taking advantage of spring population explosions of this small rodent), pikas, hares and game birds (partridge and snow cocks.). Snow Leopards usually make large kills every 9 to 14 days, staying in the kill area for 3 to 4 days; once that time period expires they usually move the activity to a relatively distant piece of their territory.
The snow leopard is a victim of over hunting by the natives of many regions ofthe high Central Asian mountains. It also suffers from the large scale pika and marmot poisoning programs that have been put into action in the Tibetan plateaus. Another cause for the depletion of the snow leopard is the demand for leopard bones for use in Chinese medicine. Traders have been known to pay up to $190 U.S. currency for a snow leopard skeleton in Tibet. The pelts of the snow leopard are highly prized as well, in fact, the money that can be gained by the sale of a snow leopard pelt is more than a native farmer would make in an entire year. The Snow leopards still left in the wild are being looked

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