How Many Snow Leopards Are Left In The Wild?



Estimated snow leopard populations:
Afghanistan 100 – 200
Bhutan 100 – 200
Burma/Myanmar No Studies
China 2,000 – 2,500
India 200 – 600
Kazakhstan 180 – 200
Kyrgyzstan 800 – 1400
Mongolia 500 – 1,000
Nepal 350 – 500
Pakistan 250 – 420
Russia 50 – 150
Tajikistan 120 – 300
Uzbekistan 10 – 50
Total 5,060 – 7,220

It is estimated that there are 4,500 to 7,500 snow leopards living in the mountains of central Asia. It is believed that 60% of the entire population of snow leopards live in China. The rough estimates shown here have been based on limited surveys that were done several decades ago. Because snow leopards move across boundaries, they may have been counted twice. Reports of sightings or the sign they leave in the environment can be misleading. In some areas, for instance where wars have been fought, there may be fewer cats than in past decades. In other areas where snow leopards are being protected, their numbers may have grown. Because of the difficulty of studying snow leopards we do not know what their historical population might have been. New technologies such as DNA analysis and camera traps will allow researchers to make better estimates. In time we will have the data that will tell us whether the snow leopard’s numbers are growing or declining. For now, we can only guess.