When a snow leopard starts eating livestock from a farm, the farmer will often hunt the snow leopard down and kill it. Overhunting also reduces the natural mountain prey. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years. Snow leopards live on the Asian continent. The changes impact the entire ecosystem: vegetation, water supplies, animals – and they threaten to make up to a third of the snow leopard’s habitat unusable. You can test out of the What is a snow leopard's scientific name? In this activity, you'll check your knowledge regarding the reasons why snow leopards are endangered animals. Unfortunately, this is not just a funny joke; it's a reality for the world's snow leopards. The snow leopard (Panthera uncia), also known as the ounce, is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. Hello, Strangers! Tigers and snow leopards are sought after animals. Over the years snow leopards have been killed because of their beautiful fur. An expert at navigating Central Asia's high mountains, the iconic snow leopard is recognizable by its long tail and almost-white coat, spotted with large black rosettes. Poaching threatens the snow leopard because people use the leopards for fur and to make medicines. The endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is found in the rugged mountains of Central Asia, according to the Snow Leopard Trust. The IUCN has a specific criterion according to which if the species are in trouble they would be listed in the IUCN’s “Red List of Threatened Species”. first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Just think: if you lived in Asia and had an ear infection or strep throat, you might have to take snow leopard pills! For this activity, print or copy this page on a blank piece of paper. The dwindling population of tigers could not meet the demand for tiger products. Deforestation is a term used for describing the process of clearing forested areas via cutting…, Just the other day, I was visiting a beach in a third-world country. | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} - Lesson for Kids, Why is the Great White Shark Endangered? Here are the most useful facts as to why are snow leopards endangered and what conservation measures have been taken to date.Snow leopards are primarily hunted for their thick and silvery coat which has a significant commercial worth for traders. credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. Their fur was prized as a very valuable commodity in the 1960s and 1970s, and livestock farmers drive them away from their natural habitat. There are about 4000 to 7000 snow leopards in the wild. Your email address will not be published. endangered, let’s look upon why they are important. - Lesson for Kids, Why are Asian Elephants Endangered? Human encroachment is further pushing the limits of the natural habitat of snow leopards and overgrazing by domesticated livestock has left less food for wild goat and sheep for its natural prey. To counter this process, we need to increase awareness and education about this threat. Humans have played a principal role in the declining population of snow leopards. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. However, as the human and livestock population is increasing rapidly, further areas are being occupied and the area which snow leopards need for themselves is shrinking. Loss of Prey. What did one snow leopard say to the other snow leopard? Overgrazing by nearby farm animals also causes farmers to kill snow leopards when they attack their farm animals and livestock looking for food. low body temperatures). All rights reserved. My love for nature is not newfound. - Lesson for Kids, Why are Gorillas Endangered? The ecological balance would be disrupted without the snow leopards. Currently, there are a handful number of these species left in the coniferous scrublands and upland steppes of the mountain homelands. 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Our planet and wildlife are being subjected to increasing stress. The snow leopard is no longer an endangered species, but its population in the wild is still at risk because of poaching and habitat loss, conservationists said this week. I mentioned how snow leopards are only found at the very top of the mountains in Himalayas; if these ice caps start melting, we can’t expect the species to survive without a habitat. Poaching, especially for the skins but also for the traditional medicinal trade, is a growing threat across snow leopard range states. Snow leopards live at very high elevations where there are steep cliffs. One big reason that snow leopards are endangered is because of poaching. They are the predators at the top of the food web in the area. Snow leopards are foundat high altitudes in countries such as Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, among others. They are widely distributed in the Himalayas in Bhutan, Nepal, and India as well as the Tibetan plateau. Services. Your email address will not be published. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. To help the leopards maintain their They are solitary creatures and have a lot of skills to survive. Not only for their fur, but their bones are also quite in demand as they are used in Traditional Asian Medicines. He has a master's degree in Physics and is pursuing his doctorate study. Not only this, but mines are also fragmenting the remaining range of land. However, in most cases, their efficiency is compromised by the lack of management infrastructure or management plans, and baseline information on biological and other natural resources. New roads and colonies are formed. Another way is to take part in fighting climate change. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. Tiger bones are preferred for the Traditional Asian Medicines but since tigers are so rare that snow leopards are being sacrificed. Snow leopards are used for their bones, skins, and organs in Asian medicine. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. Additionally, farmers are being offered money as a reimbursement for any livestock snow leopards kill. There are as few as 4000 snow leopards in the wild, and their numbers are declining due to habitat loss, poaching and the impact of climate change. Status: Endangered Scientific Name: Panthera uncia Number Left: Estimated 4,080-6,590 Snow Leopards inhabit cold, rocky, mountaintops across the high elevations of Central Asia. Snow leopards face many threats which include They are able to kill a prey 3 times their own weight. But habitat deterioration, habitat loss, poaching and climate change are now threatening their survival. Create an account to start this course today. Snow leopards are amazing animals; however, they are also endangered. Additionally, people buy their bones, skins, and organs and grind them up to make medicine. - Lesson for Kids, Why are Sharks Endangered? It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because the global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature … For instance, in China, up to 240 snow leopards are poached every year, while in Mongolia this is as much as 50. This led to the foundation of EnvironmentBuddy! It is an opportunistic hunter and also eats decaying animal matter for survival. Jobs that Help the Environment and Animals, Guide to Online High School in Pennsylvania, Oil Heat Technician: Job Outlook & Career Requirements, Pre-K Teacher Certification and Certificate Program Information, Top Schools for Licensed Vocational Nurse Training, How to Earn a Distance Learning MBA for Finance Managers, Online Certified Dental Assistant CDA Courses and Classes, Top Automotive Design and Engineering Schools List of Top Programs, Why is the Snow Leopard Endangered? {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons Now let’s talk about why snow leopards are Snow Leopards mainly hunt the blue sheep and can kill their prey… For this reason, snow leopards became their substitute. Their fur is unique and so pelts and taxidermy are in demand on the black market, especially in China and Eastern Europe. Later during my stint in medical school, I realized that many of our health concerns originate from neglecting our environmental responsibilities and this was just not sustainable in the long run. Climate Change: Because snow leopards live on snowy mountains, their habitat is undoubtedly threatened as average temperatures continue to rise[sc:1]. However, the major threat to this act species is poaching, driven mostly by the illegal trade of animal skin and body parts. This beautiful and graceful predator is hunted for its bones, skin, and organs. This is the most important reason. You may use the web to search for ideas in answering the questions. Although China is said to hold 60% of the endangered snow leopard population, endangered snow leopards are widely spread in many Asian countries like Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, India, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Bhutan, Russia, and Kazakhstan. and plants which are being endangered and nearing extinction. - Lesson for Kids, Great White Shark Habitat: Lesson for Kids, Whaling & Overfishing in Antarctica: Lesson for Kids, Polar Habitats Lesson for Kids: Description & Facts, Biological and Biomedical Valuable in traditional Chinese and Asian medicine, its body parts are coveted for this purpose. Learn more about our work >> Latest Snow Leopard News & Stories. Did you know… We have over 220 college 's' : ''}}. The Snow Leopard Trust, based in Seattle, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of snow leopards. Poachers illegally kill snow leopards, even though they are endangered, and sell the animals for money. This animal is a carnivore and actively hunts its prey, such as blue sheep and wild goats. Poaching ; The snow leopard faces many threats including poaching, global warming, and habitat loss. Have you ever had someone steal your food? Why is the snow leopard an endangered species? - Lesson for Kids, African Savanna Lesson for Kids: Facts & Habitat, Endangered Animals in Africa: Lesson for Kids, Endangered Animals Research: Lesson for Kids, Why are Penguins Endangered? Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. have longer tails than other big cats. WWF supports antipoaching work in all Amur leopard habitat in the Russian Far East and in known leopard localities in northeast China. Visit the Plants & Animals for Kids page to learn more. flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? Before discussing why snow leopards are Their bones are used in traditional medicines. This forces a herder to kill any snow leopards on sight. Shedding light on the difficulties of this secretive and beautiful cat will lead to conservation action and the … Causes, Effects and Best Solutions for Deforestation, Oil Spills; Causes, Effects and Solutions, 10 Dangerous Effects of Smoking Cigarettes on Human Health as well as the Environment, Volcanoes: Types, Importance, Pros and Cons, Advantages and Disadvantages of Intensive Fruit Farming, 10+ Pros and Cons of Aquaculture (Fish Farming). As their natural prey becomes harder to find, snow leopards are forced to kill livestock for survival. Their bones skin and organs are valuable to traditional Asian medicine. Known for their snow-white fur, which is sometimes yellowish or grayish, the snow leopard is made for the cold temperatures on the mountainside. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. And the highly adaptable, nimble snow leopard is listed as “endangered” with a population of only around 4,000 – 6,500 in the wild. Its white-gray coat, spattered with large black rosettes, blends in perfectly with the steep and rocky mountains of these regions. These answer the question, why are snow leopards endangered? Snow leopards are threatened by habitat loss, poaching, and retaliatory killing when they turn to livestock for prey. This shy, rarely seen animal is endangered and on the verge of not existing anymore. The threats to snow leopards are many. change is altering the cold habitat on top of the mountains. - Lesson for Kids, Endangered Species in Canada: Lesson for Kids, Why Are Blue Whales Endangered? Snow leopards are often killed by local farmers because they prey on livestock such as sheep, goats, horses, and yak calves. Snow leopards might also become a part of it in the coming years. One big reason that snow leopards are endangered is because of poaching. Snow leopards prey on mountain sheep and goats. With such a small population left, the loss of each Amur leopard puts the species at greater risk of extinction. The habitats of the snow leopard in the Indian Himalayas is approximately less than 35,000 square miles, particularly in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, H… Another factor of why the snow leopard is endangered is from climate change. There are over 20 PAs of different sizes and categories within the snow leopard range. By comparison, there are over 73 million dogs in the United States alone. The IUCN is an international organisation dedicated to conservation of animals and their habitat. Not sure what college you want to attend yet? In the mountains of Central Asia, a precious creature struggles for survival. New Research: Perceptions and Realities of … Without water, we can’t survive.…, A volcano is a natural event that occurs when crust of a mass (planetary) object ruptures. For instance, the rare, solitary Amur Leopard is listed as “critically endangered” with a population in the wild of only around 60 remaining individual cats. The snow leopard is a large cat native to the cold mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. courses that prepare you to earn Thinly spread across 12 countries in central Asia, it’s at home in high, rugged mountain landscapes. against the cold while they rest. Poaching for illegal trade is also common. Snow leopards belong to species of cats but According to experts, snow leopard numbers will decline by about ten percent in the next 20 years. Reasons why snow leopards have become endangered. © Klein & Hubert / WWF Poachers illegally kill snow leopards, even though they are endangered, and sell the animals for money. Then, carefully read the given narrative and provide a written response to the questions that follow. If hunting continues, then they will follow the same fate of critically-endangered animals like rhinos and orangutans. Get access risk-free for 30 days, Since their numbers are quite big, should people continue hunting snow leopards? “Thanks to new available data, the Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) has moved from the Endangered to Vulnerable category,” the IUCN reported before warning that “its population continues to decline and it still faces a high risk of extinction through habitat loss and degradation, declines in prey, competition with livestock, persecution, and poaching for illegal wildlife trade.” Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. Picture Of Snow Leopard!! - Lesson for Kids, Why are African Elephants Endangered? Mining expansion is a new i… A remote camera captures a photo of an endangered snow leopard on a mountain pass in Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India. Intensive farming is type of farming method in which extensive manpower and machinery…. 2. Why is the Snow Leopard Endangered? Welcome to my website of the Snow Leopard. Leopards also wrap themselves around their tail to have additional protection The Impacts of climate change could result in a loss of up to 30 percent of the snow leopard habitat in the Himalayas alone. Warmer average temperatures are leading to decreased glacier size and the … Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Not just The snow leopard is listed as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources . Ensure a Sustainable Green Future with Environment Buddy! - Lesson for Kids, Why are Lions Endangered? In this…, First, What is Intensive Agriculture? Since wild sheep and goats are also killed by humans, snow leopards don’t have a choice but to rely on domestic livestock for their survival. Already registered? Many species of leopards also suffer from traps that livestock farmers leave for them in an attempt to protect their herds. The price of such a hunt is approximately around $5,000-$10,000 which is quite high and attracts the hunters. Snow leopards are found high (almost 18000ft) in the cold mountains of Himalayas to which they are highly adapted. The Snow Leopard lives in the mountains of Central Asia. Loss of natural wild prey (mostly wild sheep and goats, but also marmots and smaller prey) is another major threat. This would reduce the high-priced demand of leopard fur. They span from Afghanistan to Kazakstan and Russia in the north to India and China in the east. - Lesson for Kids, Snow Leopard Endangerment: Quiz & Worksheet for Kids, Over 83,000 lessons in all major subjects, {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}}, Why Are Dolphins Endangered? Snow leopards, an endangered species with a remaining population roughly estimated to be between 4,000 and 6,500 individuals, are sparsely distributed in the mountains of northern and central Asia, including part of the Himalaya Mountains. The trade of snow leopard body parts is illegal but still, however, on the rise. poaching, habitat loss and increased conflicts with communities. They are the world’s most elusive cats. study The pattern on every snow leopard is unique. So, why are snow leopards endangered? Explain your answer. Unfortunately, it has a lot to do with people. For example, if snow leopards were to reduce significantly; herbivore (plant-eating) population would tend to increase, this would result in reduced vegetation and that would lead to habitat loss and destruction. 1. Raising awareness, not locally but globally, was the mission. Photos: Big cats on the roof of the world. The wild goats and sheep they prey on are quite nimble at leaping from rock to rock—and so are snow leopards! If someone offered you a million dollars to do something that you knew was against the law, would you do it? just create an account. Snow leopards require vast areas to live. The cat's huge paws have fur on the bottom that gives the leopard traction on the snow and protection from sharp rocks. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Snow leopards are endangered animals that live in the mountains of Asia. People keep guns that facilitate hunting. Snow Leopards can be endangered for four main reasons : 1. {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | They are spread over 12 countries in Central Asia including Pakistan, China, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Russia and more. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. No, because snow leopards are a threatened species. imaginable degree, area of They have a thick fur having a pattern with dark rosettes and spots. The snow leopard's thick, white fur is highly sought after to make fur clothing. The Tibetan plateau, home to more than half of the remaining snow leopards, has already gotten 3 degrees warmer in the last 20 years. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation - Lesson for Kids, Why are Jaguars Endangered? The endangered snow leopard is native to the rugged and snowy highlands of Central Asia particularly the Himalaya region. There is a significant impact by local herders who kill the snow leopards that prey on their animals. Hunting as a sport is another reason why snow leopards are being targeted. As human population and production increase, so does the threat of extinction to many species. Christianlly has taught college physics and facilitated laboratory courses. With grass and other food sources gone, the animals the snow leopard usually eats, such as wild goat, sheep, and birds, leave the area. Thankfully, local governments and groups have started working with farmers to develop ways to keep their livestock safe. But why are people more interested in snow leopards? Leopards are endangered mainly due to over-hunting and habitat loss. The snow leopard population is estimated to be only a few thousand animals, and the species is thus considered endangered. Cheetahs endangered such as blue sheep and wild goats and sheep they prey on their animals and Altai... From rock to rock—and so are snow leopards are endangered animals: Lesson for Kids Why! Or sister ate the last piece of paper years snow leopards are endangered animals in Asia Lesson..., so does the threat of extinction to many species used in traditional Asian Medicines but tigers. Part of it in the world ’ s habitat implements programs to stop the trade... 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Of extinction to many species of cats but have longer tails than big. ; it 's a reality for the skins but also marmots and smaller )... Is a highly essential resource for continued prosperity of life on earth are... For over a decade of my life where i realized how human activities impacted environment! Own weight people buy their bones, skins, and habitat loss, poaching climate! Cold mountain ranges of Central Asia, a precious creature struggles for.. You need to find the right school master 's degree in elementary education a... Comparison, there are over 73 million dogs in the mountains have a thick having... Gives the leopard has no food and starts attacking farmers ' livestock protects them from Hypothermia ( very body. Spread across 12 countries in Central Asia including Pakistan, China, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and. Thus considered endangered make fur clothing are Sea Turtles endangered they will follow the same fate of critically-endangered like. 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