Beautiful and elusive, the snow leopard is perfectly adapted to the cold, barren landscape of its high-altitude home which ranges from 1,000 to 4,500m above sea level.
Snow leopards are elusive big cats that live in the mountains of Central Asia. Beautifully adapted to their remote and often extremely cold surroundings, these amazing cats are unfortunately endangered. The threats that they face include poaching, habitat degradation, climate change and retaliation killings carried out when snow leopards kill livestock belonging to local herdsman. This conflict has created an uncertain future for these beautiful cats. Despite national and international laws to protect them, snow leopards are still being killed for their pelts, skin and bones which are traded illegally.
Mining is a big threat to the snow leopard's habitat. The areas in which they live are rich in minerals, especially gold. However, local people, many of whom are farmers and herdsmen, want to preserve their way of life and are resisting the influx of the mining companies.