Snow leopards live in the mountains of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and possibly also Myanmar (Burma). Their range covers 1.2 to 1.6 million km² at elevations of 3,000 to over 5,000 m (10,000 – 17,000 feet) in the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau, but as low as 600 m (2,000 feet) in Russia and Mongolia. This equals an area of 463,000 – 618,000 square miles, nearly equivalent to the nations of France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined. Up to a third of the snow leopard’s range falls along international borders, some of which are politically sensitive, complicating transboundary conservation initiatives. In fact, there have been several wars over the last 50 years, along with low-intensity factional or international conflicts that continue today in countries like Afghanistan. See the country pages of this website for the Snow Leopard Conservancy’s program areas.

snow leopard with cub

These elusive creatures prefer steep, rugged terrain with cliffs, ridges, gullies, and slopes interspersed with rocky outcrops. In Mongolia and Tibet the cats may inhabit relatively flat or rolling terrain if sufficient cover is present. In productive habitat in Nepal, a snow leopard’s home range varies from 12 to 39 km² (4.6 – 15 square miles). But in Mongolia with its open terrain and lower ungulate density, it is 500 km² or more (over 200 square miles). Densities range from less than 0.1 to 10 (or more) individuals per 100 km² (about 39 square miles) but current knowledge is insufficient for generating a reliable range-wide population estimate. The cat’s habitat is among the least productive of the world’s rangelands due to low temperatures, high aridity and harsh climatic conditions.

How Many Snow Leopards Remain?

There are estimated to be 4,500 – 7,500 snow leopards left in the wild.

Where are Snow Leopards Known to Live?

Snow Leopards are confirmed to live in 12 countries in the Himalayan Region of Central Asia.

What is the Range of a Snow Leopard?

Their range covers 1.2-1.6 million sq. km. (463,000-618,000 sq. mi.). Up to a third of the snow leopard’s range falls along international borders. Relations between some of the countries are hostile, complicating conservation initiatives.

How High can Snow Leopards Jump?

About 50 feet off the ground, due to the incredible strength of their legs. They are also good at climbing rocks, and are therefore perfectly suited for their habitat.

How Much do Snow Leopards Sleep?

As cubs, they sleep most of the day when they are a couple of weeks old. However, as adults, they go hunting at night and some days don’t go to sleep at all.