The Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard spotted In Northwest China

New footage of a big cat and its dinner has scientists excited about the possible expansion of the rare snow leopard in a state reserve, China's Xinhua news agency reports. A team of wildlife investigators recently got a close-up of a snow leopard eating its prey at the Gansu Qilianshan National Nature Reserve in Northwest China's Gansu Province, authorities with the reserve said. Investigators for the second national terrestrial wildlife survey recorded a video of the big cat hunting and feeding.
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Snow leopard fur suspects busted in inner Mongolia

Five suspects believed to be involved in the smuggling of snow leopard fur were seized on Tuesday, according to the Manzhouli Customs anti-smuggling bureau. A police officer with the bureau, surnamed Zhang, said they received a report in September that a Mongolian had smuggled snow leopard fur from Mongolia to China. After investigation, local police arrested the Mongolian, a Chinese intermediary, and three Chinese buyers while they were doing a deal in a hotel in Manzhouli City on Tuesday. Police also seized snow leopard fur and 50,000 yuan (7,279 US dollars) at the scene. Zhang said customs from both China and Mongolia were cooperating on the case. It is still unclear whether the leopard was killed in China. Snow leopards are a Class A protected animal and are classified as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They are usually found in the Himalayan ranges of central and south Asia, and typically live at an altitude of 2,500 to 4,500 meters. The animals have been found in 12 countries and have been spotted in China's Qinghai, Tibet, Xinjiang, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan.

Introduction

The snow leopard or ounce (Panthera uncia syn. Uncia uncia) is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because, as of 2003, the size of the global wild population was estimated at 4,080–6,590 adults. Fewer than 2,500 individuals may be reproducing in the wild. As of 2016, estimates for the size of the global population vary from at least 4,080 to about 8,700 individuals. Snow leopards inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft). In the northern range countries, they also occur at lower elevations. Taxonomically, the snow leopard has been classified as Uncia uncia since the early 1930s.[2] Based on genotyping studies, the cat has been considered a member of the genus Panthera since 2008. Two subspecies have been attributed, but genetic differences between the two have not been settled.