Year of 2017


102917
Snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan

Hello, kitty! This elusive snow leopard had its close-up in the Tian Shan range of Kyrgyzstan. In Chinese, Tian Shan means Celestial Mountains, and this feline is truly a star, with its powerful legs, smoky gray fur, and large paws. The image was taken by a camouflaged remote camera equipped with a sensor to detect motion—our leopard activated the camera’s shutter simply by ambling by, a perfect selfie.

Since it’s National Cat Day, we’ll share some cheerful news. Snow leopards were recently upgraded from ‘endangered’ status to ‘vulnerable’ by conservationists who study their populations. Hopefully this means we’ll see many more snow leopard selfies in years to come.


The snow leopard or ounce is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because the global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature individuals and decline about 10% in the next 23 years. As of 2016, the global population was estimated at 4,500 to 8,745 mature individuals.
Scientific name: Panthera uncia
Biological classification: Species
Belongs to: Uncia
Snow leopard range
The range of Uncia uncia. Made starting with Brion VIBBER’s map.

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