Snow Leopard Urcia urcia

The Snow Leopard ranges throughout the Himalayas at elevations from 2000m to 5500m. They are shy and have excellent camouflage. It is believed there are about 200 in Ladakh and about 10 in Hemis National Park.  

The solitary 'Ghost Leopard' is the top predator in the extreme high-altitude habitat where it lives in low numbers. The Snow Leopard is rarely seen. It is an agile ambush predator that hunts mostly from dawn to dusk. During the day they infrequently move; disappearing like the wind. It lives alone apart from the mating season in February and March.

The illegal fur trade, habitat loss and increased disturbance indicate a difficult future for this endangered 'Ghost Cat'.

 

 

Snow Leopard - adult female

Snow Leopard cub - about 20 months