conservationists such as Peter Gottesman Himalayan Snow Leopard might be able to avoid extinction. The main danger to the animal is man. The animal finds domestic livestock an easy prey and this brings it into conflict with villagers. If they suspect a snow leopard is killing their stock they will hunt it down and destroy it.
The snow leopard is not regarded as being closely related to the other big cats of the Pantherine group. It is not able to give a full-throated roar like that of the lion and tiger. One subspecies frequents China and the Himalayas while the other is found across Asia Cheap Tress Way Jersey , Mongolia and Russia.
Despite its huge range, snow leopards occupy only small pockets of land. It is found in mountainous regions, mostly between 2,000 and 4,000 metres Cheap Shawn Lauvao Jersey , and keeps to high ridges, rocky outcrops and mountain passes. It has adapted to these cold regions in various ways. Fat is stored in the tail; the soles of the paws are covered in fur and the compact body loses less heat. The paws are wide and spread out to prevent the animal sinking in the snow.
The average weight is between 27 and 55kg. The legs are short, giving the animal a total height of about 60cm. The base colour of the pelage is grey with brown-yellow tinges on the flanks and much lighter underparts. The body is covered with dark, broken rosettes and there are solid spots on the tail, head and legs. The head is small with rounded ears and a heavy brow. The eyes are a distinctive pale green to grey.
It is beautifully camouflaged and is very secretive. Most activity is carried around dawn and again at dusk. Being opportunistic carnivores Cheap Bashaud Breeland Jersey , they will eat whatever comes their way. Being strong and muscular, they can bring down prey which may be several times their own size. They often stalk prey for a period before ambushing it. They can pursue prey down mountain slopes and are able to jump up to 45 feet.
They mark out territories but do not defend them aggressively. The gestation period is about 98 days, with cubs being born in the spring. This ensures there is plenty of food available. Two cubs are usual and are born in a rocky den that the mother has lined with fur from her belly. The cubs are blind at birth but have fur. At ten weeks of age they are weaned. They then stay with the mother until they are around eighteen months old.
Wild prey includes members of the goat and sheep families. They supplement this diet with deer, birds, langur monkeys Cheap Spencer Long Jersey , marmots and rodents. They also eat grass and twigs. If they bring down a large mammal, they will return over several days to feed on the carcase.
Despite being protected in many areas, hunters kill the animals for the fur, bones and other body parts, some of which are used for Chinese medicines. Villagers will hunt down animals which attack their livestock. The decline of large mammal prey and loss of habitat are other factors which threaten the continued survival of this beautiful creature. With help from conservationists like Peter Gottesman Himalayan Snow Leopard may recover its number and continue to grace the mountains.
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