Snow Leopard: Grey Ghost of the Mountain
There are 69 species of wild cats live in the world. 7 of them is the big cats, such as tiger, lion and leopard. Snow Leopard is the one of the 4 different species of wild cats which live in Mongolia. Rarest and the most mysterious of all big cats – Snow leopard is called a “Ghost of the Mountain.” The snow leopard is perfectly adapted for its inhospitable snowy habitat. Its white coat with black spots allows the animal merge to with the grey environment of the rocky slopes so perfectly, that it seems to disappear in front of your eyes.
Nowadays, there are 4080-6590 counts of Snow Leopard is living in a 2 million square km of 12 different countries. In Mongolia, around 700-1200 numbers of snow leopards have been tracked around Altai mountain range, Khangai Mountain range and Gobi – Altai and its branch mountains. This is the second largest number in its prevalence. The snow leopard has a long body, relatively short legs and a long tail. The mature snow leopard’s body length 103-130 cm, tail length 92-105 cm, weight 23-41 kg, paw length 9-11 cm, paw width 7-9 cm, the tail looks coarse and thick because of hairs. Snow leopard spend most of its life in a less grassy cliffs which is 2500-3500m high, deep mountain gorges, rocky cliffs, steep shells, high meadows and off-road terrain where suitable to approach, or attack. They also worship the rocky mountains and oases in the Gobi Desert.
Snow leopards live alone, with the exception of breeding periods. The leopard of the Altai Mountains governs about 1600 km2.
About 64% of fodder is taken by wild goats and argali. They hunt mainly in the night, so the organs of vision and hearing are very well developed. On average, they hunt once in a half month and they eat about 4-5 days. Scientist have recorded 15% of the prey consists of plants and 7% of dirt, but they could not understand why. Some of the scientist have guessed they may eat the plants to absorb the food they eat and reduce parasite in the intestine.
The best time to spot the snow leopard is autumn and winter. Because in the fall, the Ibex and Argali, which make up the major part of their prey, descend from the mountains, and the leopard also follow them.