The snow leopard, or Panthera unica, can grow 4 to 5 feet long and weigh 60 to 120 pounds. They have long tails and powerful hind legs that can propel them 6 times the length of their body. Their thick hair acts as a barrier between them and the frigid cold of the high mountains where they live. Wide feet act as snowshoes in their cold, winter environment.
The snow leopard is a shy, elusive creature. Being crepuscular, they are most active during dusk and dawn. The snow leopard is a very solitary animal, and is rarely seen with other leopards. Mating season is from mid-January to mid-March, and during this period males may be seen with females. After mating season, females might been seen with cubs.
The range of leopard contains 12 countries, all in Asia. China, India, Nepal, and Mongolia are just a few. The Himalayas cover most of this area, and their is plenty of prey available to the leopards. Sheep, hares, and marmots are just a few items in the diverse menu of the snow leopard.
Many things are threatening the snow leopard, and mankind are the main cause of all of them. Global warming is a major threat, as they live in a snowy environment. Habitat fragmentation and poaching are other problems harming the snow leopard population. Each of these threats contributes to their decreasing population. Scienctists hypothesize that their are less the 6,000 leopards left in the wild.
The World Wildlife Foundatioin and other charities are helping prevent poaching and retaliatory killings. Global warming can't be changes all at once, but even little actions can make a difference. Conserving energy makes a big difference, as creating energy can be harmful to the environment. Even little things like turning off the light when you leave a room can help conserve energy. Walking or biking to nearby places instead of driving also reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses in the environment. Their are many little actions you can take to help, it's just taking the time and effort to do them.