Snow Leopards are the third and final creature featured in Endangered Asia, the latest collection. I've always remembered seeing the snow leopard appeals on the television growing up, so when I was researching this one did stick out to me, as well as their gorgeous blue eyes that I wanted to draw!
Snow Leopards are classed as vulnerable, and their exact population is a pretty hard one to pinpoint. Estimates suggest between 4000 and 6500 in the wild, the problem being their extremely high and dangerous habitat makes it impossible to count. In fact, a large percentage of the Snow Leopard's habitat is unexplored ground in the mountains of China, India, Nepal, and more bordering countries.
The Snow Leopard has a strong build, which especially helps with the harsh environment where they reside, but also manoeuvring around it. They are great at jumping and clearing distances which helps a lot in the rocky landscape.
The main threats that Snow Leopards face are humans and habitat, the climate crisis is having an impact on the habitat and humans hunt. Hunting occurs in both the leopards for their pelts and sometimes parts for traditional medicine uses, and also in their prey animals, taking away vital food sources.
This then means the Snow Leopard may take to hunting livestock, which then causes farmers to hunt in retaliation over lost livestock. It's a cycle that causes snow leopard deaths unfortunately and hard to stop without breaking the hunting cycle somewhere.
Conservation efforts have included bans on hunting except for threats to human life in most countries, and severe punishments for anyone caught hunting, poaching or selling any part of the creature.
The Snow Leopard is a gorgeous creature, shown here in our Snow Leopard pattern design, which you can see on a range of products here.