Snow leopard

The snow leopard (Panthera uncia), also known as the 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. It is threatened by poaching and habitat destruction following infrastructural developments.[1][3]

The snow leopard inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft), ranging from eastern Afghanistan to Mongolia and western China. In the northern range countries, it also occurs at lower elevations.[4][5]

Taxonomically, the snow leopard was initially classified in the monotypic genus Uncia.[2] Since 2008, it is considered a member of the genus Panthera based on results of genetic studies. Two subspecies were described based on morphological differences, but genetic differences between the two have not been confirmed.[1] It is therefore regarded a monotypic species.[6]

Snow leopard
Snow leopard in Afghanistan
Snow leopard in Wakhan District, Afghanistan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Genus: Panthera
P. uncia
Binomial name
Panthera uncia
(Schreber, 1775)

See text

Snow leopard range
Range map
  • Felis irbis Ehrenberg, 1830 (= Felis uncia Schreber, 1775), by subsequent designation (Palmer, 1904).[2]
  • Uncia uncia Pocock, 1930

Naming and etymology

Both the Latinized specific epithet uncia and the occasional English name ounce are derived from the Old French once, originally used for the European lynx. Once itself is believed to have arisen by false splitting from an earlier variant of lynx, lonce – where lonce was interpreted as l'once, in which l' is the elided form of the French definite article la ('the'), leaving once to be perceived as the animal's name. This, like the English version ounce, came to be used for other lynx-sized cats, and eventually for the snow leopard.[7][8]

The word panther derives from classical Latin panthēra, itself from the ancient Greek pánthēr (πάνθηρ).[9]

Taxonomy and evolution

Two cladograms for Panthera
Two cladograms proposed for Panthera. The upper cladogram is based on two studies published in 2006 and 2009;.,[10][11] the lower one is based on studies published in 2010 and 2011.[12][13]

The snow leopard was first described by the German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber on the basis of an illustration in his 1777 publication Die Säugethiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen. Schreber named the cat Felis uncia and gave its type locality as Barbary, Persia, East India, and China.[14] In 1854, the British zoologist John Edward Gray proposed the genus Uncia, to which he subordinated the snow leopard under the name Uncia irbis.[15] British zoologist Reginald Innes Pocock corroborated this classification, but attributed the scientific name Uncia uncia. He also described morphological differences between snow leopards and the then-accepted Panthera species.[16]


Following Schreber's description of the species, several snow leopard subspecies were proposed:[2]

  • U. u. uncia in Mongolia and Russia;
  • U. u. uncioides in western China and the Himalayas;
  • U. u. baikalensis-romanii was proposed for a population living in the southern Transbaikal region;[17]

Until spring 2017, there was no evidence available for recognition of subspecies.[6] Results of a phylogeographic study published in September 2017 indicate that three subspecies should be recognised: P. u. uncia in the Pamir Mountains range countries, P. u. uncioides in the Himalayas and Qinghai, and P. u. irbis in Mongolia.[18]


The snow leopard is part of the Panthera lineage, one of the eight lineages of Felidae. This lineage comprises the species of Panthera and Neofelis. The Neofelis lineage diverged first from the remainder of the Felinae. Subsequent branching between the snow leopard and clouded leopard began two to three million years ago, but the details of this are disputed.[19] Results of a phylogenetic study published in 2006, based on nDNA and mtDNA analysis, indicate that snow leopard and tiger are sister taxa, whereas the leopard is sister taxon to two clades within Panthera – one consisting of the tiger and the snow leopard, and the other of the lion and the jaguar.[10] Results of a similar study published in 2009 corroborated this assessment.[11] Results obtained during two subsequent phylogenetic studies indicate a swapping in the cladogram between the leopard and the jaguar.[12][13] A 2016 study indicates that, at some point in their evolution, snow leopards interbred with lions, as their mitochondrial genomes are more similar to each other than their nuclear genomes. These results indicate that a female hybrid offspring of male ancestors of modern snow leopards and female ancestors of modern lions interbred with the male ancestors of modern snow leopards.[20]


Snow leopard portrait
Closeup of a male snow leopard
Snow leopard - Uncia uncia
A snow leopard showing its large paw with thick fur on pads
Léopard des neiges 14081
The thickly furred tail of a snow leopard, photographed at Zoo d'Amnéville, France

The snow leopard's fur is whitish to gray with black spots on head and neck, but larger rosettes on the back, flanks and bushy tail. The belly is whitish. The fur is thick with hairs between 5 and 12 cm (2.0 and 4.7 in) long. Its body is stocky, short-legged and slightly smaller than the other cats of the genus Panthera, reaching a shoulder height of 56 cm (22 in), and ranging in head to body size from 75 to 150 cm (30 to 59 in). Its tail is 80 to 105 cm (31 to 41 in) long. Its eyes are pale green or grey in color. Its muzzle is short and its forehead domed. Its nasal cavities are large.[21][22] It weighs between 22 and 55 kg (49 and 121 lb), with an occasional large male reaching 75 kg (165 lb) and small female of under 25 kg (55 lb).[22][23]

The snow leopard shows several adaptations for living in a cold, mountainous environment. Its body is stocky, its fur is thick, and its ears are small and rounded, features that help to minimize heat loss. Its broad paws well distribute the body weight for walking on snow, and have fur on their undersides to increase their grip on steep and unstable surfaces; it also helps to minimize heat loss. Its long and flexible tail helps to maintain balance in the rocky terrain. The tail is also very thick due to fat storage, and is very thickly covered with fur, which allows the cat to use it like a blanket to protect its face when asleep.[24]

The snow leopard cannot roar, despite possessing partial ossification of the hyoid bone. This partial ossification was previously thought to be essential for allowing the big cats to roar, but new studies show that the ability to roar is due to other morphological features, especially of the larynx, which are absent in the snow leopard.[25][26] Snow leopard vocalizations include hisses, chuffing, mews, growls, and wailing.

Distribution and habitat

Snow Leopard in Ladakh( Photo by Tashi Lonchay)
In Ladakh, India

The snow leopard is distributed from the west of Lake Baikal through southern Siberia, in the Kunlun Mountains, in the Russian Altai mountains, Sayan and Tannu-Ola Mountains, in the Tian Shan, across Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to the Hindu Kush in eastern Afghanistan, Karakoram in northern Pakistan, in the Pamir Mountains, and in the high altitudes of the Himalayas in India, Nepal, and Bhutan, and the Tibetan Plateau. In Mongolia, it is found in the Mongolian and Gobi Altai Mountains and the Khangai Mountains. In Tibet, it is found up to the Altyn-Tagh in the north.[4][27]

Potential snow leopard habitat in the Indian Himalayas is estimated at less than 90,000 km2 (35,000 sq mi) in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, of which about 34,000 km2 (13,000 sq mi) is considered good habitat, and 14.4% is protected. In the beginning of the 1990s, the Indian snow leopard population was estimated at roughly 200–600 individuals living across about 25 protected areas.[4]

In summer, snow leopards usually live above the tree line on mountainous meadows and in rocky regions at altitudes from 2,700 to 6,000 m (8,900 to 19,700 ft). In winter, they come down into the forests to altitudes around 1,200 to 2,000 m (3,900 to 6,600 ft). Snow leopards prefer rocky, broken terrain, and can travel without difficulty in snow up to 85 cm (33 in) deep, although they prefer to use existing trails made by other animals.[22]

Global warming has caused the tree line to be increased in altitude, resulting in the decrease of wild prey that depend on the plants for food.[28]


Before 2003, the total wild snow leopard population was estimated at 4,080 to 6,500 individuals.[4] In 2016, the global population was estimated at 4,678 to 8,745 individuals, suggesting that the total number of snow leopards was larger than previously thought.[3]

Range Country Habitat area
Afghanistan 50,000 100–200?
Bhutan 15,000 100–200?
China 1,100,000 2,000–2,500
India 75,000 200–600
Kazakhstan 50,000 180–200
Kyrgyzstan 105,000 150–500
Mongolia 101,000 500–1,000
Nepal 30,000 300–500
Pakistan 80,000 200–420
Tajikistan 100,000 180–220
Uzbekistan 10,000 20–50

Snow leopards inhabit the following protected areas:

Snow leopards were also recorded by camera traps at 16 locations in northeastern Afghanistan's isolated Wakhan Corridor.[33]

Ecology and behavior

Uncia uncia
Walking in the snow

The snow leopard is solitary, except for females with cubs. They rear them in dens in the mountains for extended periods.

An individual snow leopard lives within a well-defined home range, but does not defend its territory aggressively when encroached upon by other snow leopards. Home ranges vary greatly in size. In Nepal, where prey is abundant, a home range may be as small as 12 km2 (5 sq mi) to 40 km2 (15 sq mi) and up to five to 10 animals are found here per 100 km2 (39 sq mi); in habitats with sparse prey, though, an area of 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi) supports only five of these cats.[25] However, a new study lasting from 2008 to 2014 indicates their ranges are much greater than believed; a male snow leopard requires a territory of around 80 square miles, while females require up to 48 square miles of territory. Taking this data into account, it is estimated that 40 percent of the 170 protected areas in place are smaller than the space required to support a single male snow leopard. This study also says the leopards defend their territory.[34]

Like other cats, snow leopards use scent marks to indicate their territories and common travel routes. These are most commonly produced by scraping the ground with the hind feet before depositing urine or scat, but they also spray urine onto sheltered patches of rock.[22]

Snow leopards are crepuscular, being most active at dawn and dusk.[35] They are known for being extremely secretive and well camouflaged.

Hunting and diet

Panthera uncia (33172899150)
Snow leopard showing teeth while yawning
Wild Snow Leopard Goes Grocery Shopping
Snow leopard with a marmot in Kyrgyzstan

The snow leopard is a carnivore and actively hunts its prey. It is an opportunistic hunter and also eats carrion. It can kill animals two to four times its own weight, such as Himalayan blue sheep, Himalayan tahr, markhor, argali, and juvenile horses and camels.[36] It prefers prey ranging in weight from 36 to 76 kg (79 to 168 lb), but also hunts smaller mammals such as marmot, pika and vole species.[37]

Snow leopards prefer to ambush prey from above, using broken terrain to conceal their approach. They will actively pursue prey down steep mountainsides, using the momentum of their initial leap to chase animals for up to 300 m (980 ft). They kill with a bite to the neck, and may drag the prey to a safe location before feeding. They consume all edible parts of the carcass, and can survive on a single bharal for two weeks before hunting again. Annual prey needs appears to be 20–30 adult blue sheep.[1][22]

The snow leopard is capable of killing most animals in its range, with the probable exception of the adult male yak. It also eats a significant amount of vegetation, including grass and twigs.[22] Snow leopards have been recorded to hunt in pairs successfully, especially mating pairs.[38]

The diet of the snow leopard varies across its range and with the time of year, and depends on prey availability. In the Himalayas, it preys mostly on Himalayan blue sheep and Siberian ibex. In the Karakoram, Tian Shan, Altai and Mongolia's Tost Mountains, its main prey consists of Siberian ibex, Thorold's deer, Siberian roe deer and argali.[37][39] Other species hunted when available include red panda, wild boar, langur monkey, snow cock and Chukar partridge.[35]

Where snow leopards prey on domestic livestock, they are subject to conflict with humans.[1] However, even in Mongolia, where wild prey has been reduced, and interactions with humans are common, domestic livestock, mainly domestic sheep, comprises less than 20% of snow leopard diet.[39] Herders kill snow leopards to prevent them from taking their livestock.[24] The loss of prey animals due to overgrazing by domestic livestock, poaching, and defense of livestock are the major drivers for the decreasing population of the snow leopard. The snow leopard has not been reported to attack humans, and appears to be the least aggressive to humans of all big cats. As a result, they are easily driven away from livestock; they readily abandon their kills when threatened, and may not even defend themselves when attacked.[22]

Reproduction and life cycle

Cubs at the Cat Survival Trust, Welwyn, the United Kingdom
Panthera uncia Shynghyz Tama Zoo 2015-09-20
Shynghyz, the oldest known snow leopard (aged 26), at Tama Zoo, Tokyo, Japan

Snow leopards become sexually mature at two to three years, and normally live for 15–18 years in the wild. In captivity they can live for up to 25 years. Oestrus typically lasts from five to eight days, and males tend not to seek out another partner after mating, probably because the short mating season does not allow sufficient time. Paired snow leopards mate in the usual felid posture, from 12 to 36 times a day. They are unusual among large cats in that they have a well-defined birth peak. They usually mate in late winter, marked by a noticeable increase in marking and calling. Females have a gestation period of 90–100 days, so the cubs are born between April and June.[22]

Generation length of the snow leopard is eight years.[40]

The mother gives birth in a rocky den or crevice lined with fur shed from her underside. Litter sizes vary from one to five cubs, but the average is 2.2. The cubs are blind and helpless at birth, although already with a thick coat of fur, and weigh from 320 to 567 g (11.3 to 20.0 oz). Their eyes open at around seven days, and the cubs can walk at five weeks and are fully weaned by 10 weeks.[22] Also when they are born, they have full black spots which turn into rosettes as they grow to adolescence.

The cubs leave the den when they are around two to four months of age, but remain with their mother until they become independent after around 18–22 months. Once independent, they disperse over considerable distances, even crossing wide expanses of flat terrain to seek out new hunting grounds. This likely helps reduce the inbreeding that would otherwise be common in their relatively isolated environments.[22]


The major threat to snow leopard populations is poaching and illegal trade of skins and body parts. In China, 103 to 236 animals are poached every year, in Mongolia between 34 and 53, in Pakistan between 23 and 53, in India from 21 to 45, and in Tajikistan 20 to 25. Poaching is linked to prey declines and livestock depredation.[41]


Numerous agencies are working to conserve the snow leopard and its threatened mountain ecosystems. These include the Snow Leopard Trust, the Snow Leopard Conservancy, the Snow Leopard Network, the Cat Specialist Group, TRAFFIC, and the Panthera Corporation.

These groups and various national governments from the snow leopard’s range, nonprofits, and donors from around the world worked together at the 10th International Snow Leopard Conference in Beijing. Their focus on research, community programs in snow leopard regions, and education programs are aimed at understanding the cat's needs, as well as the needs of the villagers and herder communities juxtaposed with the snow leopards' habitats.[42][43]

Global Snow Leopard Forum

In 2013, government leaders and officials from all 12 countries encompassing the snow leopard's range (Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) came together at the Global Snow Leopard Forum (GSLF) initiated by the President Almazbek Atambayev of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the State Agency on Environmental Protection and Forestry under the government of the Kyrgyz Republic. The meeting was held in Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic, and all countries agreed that the snow leopard and the high mountain habitat it lives in need trans-boundary support to ensure a viable future for snow leopard populations, as well as to safeguard their fragile environment. The event brought together many partners, including NGOs like the Snow Leopard Conservancy, the Snow Leopard Trust, and the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union. Also supporting the initiative were the Snow Leopard Network, the World Bank's Global Tiger Initiative, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Wild Fund for Nature, the United States Agency for International Development, and Global Environment Facility.

Bishkek Declaration

At the GSLF meeting, the 12 range countries signed the Bishkek Declaration to "acknowledge that the snow leopard is an irreplaceable symbol of our nations' natural and cultural heritage and an indicator of the health and sustainability of mountain ecosystems; and we recognize that mountain ecosystems inhabited by snow leopards provide essential ecosystem services, including storing and releasing water from the origins of river systems benefitting one-third of the world’s human population; sustaining the pastoral and agricultural livelihoods of local communities which depend on biodiversity for food, fuel, fodder, and medicine; and offering inspiration, recreation, and economic opportunities."[44]

Global Snow Leopard and Eco-system Protection Program

Out of these efforts was formed a cooperative support effort, the Global Snow Leopard and Eco-system Protection Program (GSLEP). The GSLEP is a joint initiative of range country governments, international agencies, civil society, and the private sector. Its goal is to secure the long-term survival of the snow leopard in its natural ecosystem.

The goal of the GSLEP is for the 12 snow leopard range countries, with support from conservation agencies, NGOs and others to work together to identify and secure at least 20 healthy populations of snow leopards across the cat’s range by 2020, or "20 by 2020". Many of these populations will cross international boundaries.

The three criteria that will secure healthy populations of snow leopards are populations that represent at least 100 breeding age snow leopards, contain adequate and secure prey populations and have connectivity to other snow leopard populations.

This is an interim goal for the years through to 2020. During the coming years, agreement will be reached on the steps needed to achieve the ultimate goal of ensuring that healthy snow leopard populations remain the icon of the mountains of Asia for generations to come.[45]

2015 designated International Year of the Snow Leopard

To help spread the word amongst the people, government authorities, and conservation groups in each range country, 2015 was designated the International Year of the Snow Leopard as part of the GSLEPP's work. All range-country governments, nongovernmental and inter-governmental organizations, local communities, and various private sector businesses pledged to take the year as an opportunity to further work towards conservation of snow leopards and their high-mountain ecosystems.[46]

In captivity

In 2008, there were approximately 600 snow leopards in zoos around the world.[35] In the Richmond Metropolitan Zoo in Virginia, in the United States of America, snow leopard cubs were born in 2016.[47]

Much progress has been made in securing the survival of the snow leopard, with them being successfully bred in captivity. Females usually give birth to two to three cubs in a litter, but can give birth to up to seven in some cases.

Lightmatter snowleopard

Snow leopard in San Diego Zoo

Schneeleopard P1040242

Snow leopard in an unknown zoo

Relationships with humans

Attacks on humans and livestock

Snow leopard attacks on humans are rare; only two instances are known.[48] On July 12, 1940, in Maloalmaatinsk gorge near Almaty, a rabid snow leopard attacked two men during the day and inflicted serious injuries on both.[48] In the second case, not far from Almaty, an old, toothless, emaciated snow leopard unsuccessfully attacked a passerby in winter; it was captured and carried to a local village.[48] There are no other records of any snow leopard attacking a human being.[49][50]

A 2008 Natural World episode, "Snow Leopard – Beyond the Myth", interviewed a couple with a goat farm in Pakistan; the woman was bowled over by a snow leopard escaping an enclosure where it had been feeding on the livestock, but she was not attacked by the cat, despite fainting and being helpless. The film crew went to some lengths to demonstrate that the cat was primarily hunting wild prey and was often ranging far outside the area, as they hoped to prevent local farmers from shooting it. Nevertheless, they also found evidence of other sightings of the cats around nearby human settlements, and of repeated attacks on livestock (some of them unsuccessful).[51] Snow leopards attacking livestock has also been a subject of conservation journal papers.[36]

In culture


Snow leopards have symbolic meaning for Turkic peoples of Central Asia, where the animal is known as irbis or bars, so it is widely used in heraldry and as an emblem.

The snow leopard in heraldry is sometimes known in English as the ounce. The cat has long been used as a political symbol, the Aq Bars ('White Leopard'), by Tatars, Kazakhs, and Bulgars, among others. A snow leopard is found on the official seal of the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan, and the former 10,000 Kazakhstani tenge banknote also featured one on the reverse. A mythical winged Aq Bars is found in the national coat of arms of Tatarstan, the seal of the city of Samarqand, Uzbekistan, and (also with a crown) the old coat of arms of the Kazakh capital, Astana. In Kyrgyzstan, it has been used in highly stylized form in the modern emblem of the capital, Bishkek, and the same art has been integrated into the badge of the Kyrgyzstan Girl Scouts Association. A crowned snow leopard features in the arms of Shushensky District, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.

The Snow Leopard award, given to Soviet mountaineers who scaled all five of the Soviet Union's 7,000-meter peaks, is named after the animal, but does not depict one.

The cat is the state animal of Himachal Pradesh, a north Indian state in the western Himalayas. The animal has also been declared the "National Predator" of Pakistan.[52]

Coat of arms of Almaty

Symbol of Almaty, Kazakhstan


Snow leopard on the reverse of the old 10,000-Kazakhstani tenge banknote

Coat of Arms of Tatarstan

The coat of arms of Tatarstan

Emblem of Samarkand

Seal of Samarqand, Uzbekistan

Old coat of arms of Astana

Old coat of arms of Astana, Kazakhstan

Coat of arms of Bishkek Kyrgyzstan

Symbol of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

In the media


Documentary footage of the snow leopard is scarce. While such coverage would not be remarkable with regard to common species, wildlife video of the snow leopard is difficult to obtain due to the animal's rarity and the human inaccessibility to much of its natural habitat.[51]

The BBC One TV series Planet Earth had a segment on snow leopards. The series took some of the first video of snow leopards in the wild, and also featured a snow leopard hunting a markhor.[53] The episode Mountains of Planet Earth II, aired in November 2016, featured the rather violent mating fights of snow leopards, as well as a snow leopard's chuffing and wailing.

Nisar Malik, a Pakistani journalist, and Mark Smith, a cameraman who had worked on the Planet Earth segment, spent a further 18 months filming snow leopards in the Hindu Kush for the BBC Two series Natural World episode "Snow Leopard – Beyond the Myth".[51][54] The cat has been featured in segments of other episodes of the same series.

The PBS/WNET series Nature focused on the species in its episode "Silent Roar: Searching for the Snow Leopard".

A snow leopard named Dawa along with her cubs is one of the focal points of the 2017 Disneynature film Born in China.


In Peter Matthiessen's 1978 travelogue The Snow Leopard, he recounts his two-month search with naturalist George Schaller for snow leopards in Nepal.


In Philip Pullman's 1995–2000 fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, Lord Asriel's dæmon is a snow leopard named Stelmaria.

Tai Lung, the main antagonist of the 2008 film Kung Fu Panda, is an anthropomorphized snow leopard.

In the 2013 film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, photojournalist Sean O'Connell (played by Sean Penn) is shown photographing snow leopards in Afghanistan.

See also


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Further reading

External links

Ak Bars Kazan

Hockey Club Ak Bars (Russian: Ак Барс, English: Snow Leopard), also known as Ak Bars Kazan, is a Russian professional ice hockey team based in Kazan. They are members of the Kharlamov Division of the Kontinental Hockey League.

The team's name, Ak Bars, is derived from the official symbol of Tatarstan, translated as Snow Leopard, a traditional symbol which has its origins with the Barsil, one of the Tatar tribes.

App Store (macOS)

The App Store is a digital distribution platform for macOS apps, created by Apple Inc. This platform was announced on October 20, 2010, at Apple's "Back to the Mac" event. Apple began accepting app submissions from registered developers on November 3, 2010, in preparation for its launch.It was released on January 6, 2011, as part of the free Mac OS X 10.6.6 update for all current Snow Leopard users. After 24 hours of release, Apple announced that there were over one million downloads.On June 4, 2018, Apple announced that a new version of the App Store would be included in macOS Mojave.


The bharal (Pseudois nayaur), also called the Himalayan blue sheep or naur, is a caprid found in the high Himalayas of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar and Pakistan. Its native names include bharal, barhal, bharar and bharut in Hindi, na or sna in Ladakh, nabo in Spitian, naur in Nepali and na or gnao in Bhutan.

The bharal was also the focus of George Schaller's and Peter Matthiessen's expedition to Nepal in 1973. Their personal experiences are well documented by Matthiessen in his book, The Snow Leopard. The bharal is a major food of the snow leopard.

Big cat

The term "big cat" is typically used to refer to any of the five living members of the genus Panthera, namely tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, and snow leopard.

Except the snow leopard, these species are able to roar.

A more liberal and expansive definition of the term includes species outside of Panthera including the cougar, clouded leopard, Sunda clouded leopard and cheetah, although these added species also do not roar.Despite enormous differences in size, various cat species are quite similar in both structure and behaviour, with the exception of the cheetah, which significantly stands out from the other big and small cats. All cats are carnivores and efficient apex predators. Their range includes the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

Boot Camp (software)

Boot Camp Assistant is a multi boot utility included with Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X that assists users in installing Microsoft Windows operating systems on Intel-based Macintosh computers. The utility guides users through non-destructive disk partitioning (including resizing of an existing HFS+ partition, if necessary) of their hard disk drive or solid state drive and installation of Windows device drivers for the Apple hardware. The utility also installs a Windows Control Panel applet for selecting the boot operating system.

Initially introduced as an unsupported beta for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, the utility was first introduced with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and has been included in subsequent versions of the operating system ever since. Previous versions of Boot Camp supported Windows XP, and Windows Vista. Boot Camp 4.0 for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard up to Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion version 10.8.2 only supported Windows 7. However, with the release of Boot Camp 5.0 for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in version 10.8.3, only 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 are officially supported.Boot Camp 6.0 added support for Windows 10. Boot Camp 6.1, available on macOS 10.12 Sierra and later, will only accept new installations of Windows 7 and later; this requirement was upgraded to requiring Windows 10 for macOS 10.14 Mojave.


iSync is a software application first released by Apple Inc. on Jan 2, 2003. Apple licensed the core technology from fusionOne. It ran only under Mac OS X and was used to synchronize contact and calendar data from Address Book and iCal with many non-Apple SyncML-enabled mobile phones via a Bluetooth or USB connection. Support for many (pre-October 2007) devices was built-in, with newer devices being supported via manufacturer and third-party iSync Plugins. Support for Palm OS organizers and compatible smartphones was removed with the release of iSync 3.1 and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. BlackBerry OS, Palm OS, and Windows Mobile (Pocket PC) devices could not be used with iSync, but were supported by third-party applications. Before the release of Mac OS X 10.4, iSync also synchronized a user's Safari bookmarks with the then .Mac subscription service provided by Apple.

Starting with Mac OS X 10.4, much of iSync's original syncing functionality had been moved into the Sync Services framework, which developers can use to incorporate synchronization into their own applications. iSync, however, retained responsibility for the setup, configuration and synchronising of supported mobile handsets. Since the release of iTunes 4.8, the user interface for synchronizing iPods had been delegated to iTunes, although conflict-resolution and substantial changes to contact information (>5%) shows use of iSync. Synchronization with MobileMe (previously .Mac) was then the domain of MobileMe Sync, accessible through a System Preferences pane.

iSync was removed from Mac OS X in version 10.7 (Lion). However, since the underlying framework still existed in Lion and 10.8 (Mountain Lion), it was possible to restore the functionality of iSync using a 10.6 (Snow Leopard) installation or backup.


macOS (; previously Mac OS X and later OS X, Roman numeral "X" pronounced "ten") is a series of graphical operating systems developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac family of computers. Within the market of desktop, laptop and home computers, and by web usage, it is the second most widely used desktop OS, after Microsoft Windows.macOS is the second major series of Macintosh operating systems. The first is colloquially called the "classic" Mac OS, which was introduced in 1984, and the final release of which was Mac OS 9 in 1999. The first desktop version, Mac OS X 10.0, was released in March 2001, with its first update, 10.1, arriving later that year. After this, Apple began naming its releases after big cats, which lasted until OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Since OS X 10.9 Mavericks, releases have been named after locations in California. Apple shortened the name to "OS X" in 2012 and then changed it to "macOS" in 2016, adopting the nomenclature that they were using for their other operating systems, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The latest version is macOS Mojave, which was publicly released in September 2018.

Between 1999 and 2009, Apple sold a separate series of operating systems called Mac OS X Server. The initial version, Mac OS X Server 1.0, was released in 1999 with a user interface similar to Mac OS 8.5. After this, new versions were introduced concurrently with the desktop version of Mac OS X. Beginning with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, the server functions were made available as a separate package on the Mac App Store.macOS is based on technologies developed between 1985 and 1997 at NeXT, a company that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs created after leaving the company. The "X" in Mac OS X and OS X is the Roman numeral for the number 10 and is pronounced as such. The X was a prominent part of the operating system's brand identity and marketing in its early years, but gradually receded in prominence since the release of Snow Leopard in 2009. UNIX 03 certification was achieved for the Intel version of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and all releases from Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard up to the current version also have UNIX 03 certification. macOS shares its Unix-based core, named Darwin, and many of its frameworks with iOS, tvOS and watchOS. A heavily modified version of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was used for the first-generation Apple TV.

Releases of Mac OS X from 1999 to 2005 can run only on the PowerPC-based Macs from that time period. After Apple announced that they were switching to Intel CPUs from 2006 onwards, a separate version of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was made and distributed exclusively with early Intel-based Macs; it included an emulator known as Rosetta, which allowed users to run most PowerPC applications on Intel-based Macs. Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard was the sole release to be built as a universal binary, meaning that the installer disc supported both Intel and PowerPC processors. Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was the first release to be available exclusively for Intel-based Macs. In 2011, Apple released Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which no longer supported 32-bit Intel processors and also did not include Rosetta. All versions of the system released since then run exclusively on 64-bit Intel CPUs and do not support PowerPC applications.

MacOS Server

macOS Server, formerly Mac OS X Server and OS X Server, is a separately sold operating system add-on which provides additional server programs along with management and administration tools for macOS.

Prior to version 10.7 (Lion), Mac OS X Server was a separate but similar Unix server operating system from Apple Inc. architecturally identical to its desktop counterpart Mac OS X. With the release of version 10.7 (Lion), Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server were combined into one release. A separate "server" operating system is no longer sold; the server-specific server applications and work group management and administration software tools from Mac OS X Server are now offered as macOS Server, an add-on package for macOS sold through the Mac App Store along with Workgroup Manager 10.8, available from the Apple support web site.These tools simplify access to key network services, including a mail transfer agent, AFP and SMB servers, an LDAP server, a domain name server, and others. Also included (particularly in later versions) are numerous additional services and the tools to manage them, such as web server, wiki server, chat server, calendar server, and many others.

Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6) is the seventh major release of Mac OS X (now named macOS), Apple's desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.

Snow Leopard was publicly unveiled on June 8, 2009 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. On August 28, 2009, it was released worldwide, and was made available for purchase from Apple's website and its retail stores at the price of US$29 for a single-user license. As a result of the low price, initial sales of Snow Leopard were significantly higher than that of its predecessors. The release of Snow Leopard came nearly two years after the introduction of Mac OS X Leopard, the second longest time span between successive Mac OS X releases (the time span between Tiger and Leopard was the longest).

Unlike those of previous versions of Mac OS X, the goals of Snow Leopard were improved performance, greater efficiency and the reduction of its overall memory footprint. Addition of new end-user features was not a primary consideration: its name signified its goal to be a refinement of the previous OS X version, Leopard. Much of the software in Mac OS X was extensively rewritten for this release in order to take advantage fully of modern Macintosh hardware. New programming frameworks, such as OpenCL, were created, allowing software developers to use graphics cards in their applications. This is also the first Mac OS release since System 7.1.1 that does not support Macs using PowerPC processors, as Apple now intends to focus on its current line of Intel-based products. As support for Rosetta was dropped in OS X Lion, Snow Leopard is the last version of Mac OS X that is able to run PowerPC-only applications.

Snow Leopard was succeeded by Mac OS X Lion (version 10.7) on July 20, 2011. For some time on, Apple continued to sell Snow Leopard from its online store for the benefit of users that required Snow Leopard in order to upgrade to later versions of OS X, which have all been distributed through the Mac App Store introduced in the Snow Leopard 10.6.6 update.Snow Leopard was the last release of Mac OS X to support the 32-bit Intel Core Solo and Intel Core Duo CPUs. Because of this, Snow Leopard still remained somewhat popular alongside Mac OS X Tiger, despite its lack of continued support, mostly because of its ability to run PowerPC-based applications as Rosetta was dropped in Mac OS X Lion.

Snow Leopard was also the last release of Mac OS X to ship with a welcome video at first boot after installation. Reception of Snow Leopard was positive.

Although Snow Leopard has been officially out of support since 2014, it remains available for purchase both on Apple's App Store, and in the form of boxed DVD-ROMs available through Apple's online store.


Panthera is a genus within the Felidae family that was named and first described by the German naturalist Lorenz Oken in 1816. The British taxonomist Pocock revised the classification of this genus in 1916 as comprising the species lion, tiger, jaguar, and leopard on the basis of cranial features. Results of genetic analysis indicate that the snow leopard also belongs to the Panthera, a classification that was accepted by IUCN Red List assessors in 2008.The tiger, lion, leopard, and jaguar are the only felines with the anatomical structure that enables them to roar. The primary reason for this was formerly assumed to be the incomplete ossification of the hyoid bone. However, new studies show the ability to roar is due to other morphological features, especially of the larynx. The snow leopard does not roar. Although it has an incomplete ossification of the hyoid bone, it lacks the special morphology of the larynx.

Safari (web browser)

Safari is a graphical web browser developed by Apple, based on the WebKit engine. First released on desktop in 2003 with Mac OS X Panther, a mobile version has been bundled with iOS devices since the iPhone's introduction in 2007. Safari is the default browser on Apple devices. A Windows version was available from 2007 to 2012.

Snow Leopard Commando Unit

The Snow Leopard Commando Unit (Simplified Chinese: 雪豹突击队), formerly known as the Snow Wolf Commando Unit (Abbreviation: SWCU; Simplified Chinese: 雪狼突击队) is a special operations unit of the People's Republic of China under the People's Armed Police, tasked with counter-terrorism, riot control, and other special tasks such as anti-hijacking and bomb disposal. The SLCU, along with Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau's Beijing SWAT unit, was tasked with many of the security responsibilities of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Officially, the SLCU is known as the 3rd Group, 13th Detachment, People's Armed Police Beijing General Corps.The former Snow Wolf name was bestowed on the unit because of the known tenacity of Arctic wolves and their ability to both survive and thrive in extremely harsh conditions.

Snow Leopard Trust

The Snow Leopard Trust is the largest and oldest organization working solely to protect the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and its habitat in 12 countries of Central Asia. The trust is a non-profit organization with its headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The present total population of snow leopards in the wild is estimated at between 3,920 and 6,390.

Snow Leopard award

The Snow Leopard award (Russian: Снежный барс) was a Soviet mountaineering award, given to very experienced climbers. It is still recognised in the Commonwealth of Independent States. To receive this award, a climber must summit all five peaks of 7000m and above located in the former Soviet Union.In Tajikistan's Pamir Mountains there are three Snow Leopard peaks, Ismail Samani Peak (formerly Communism Peak) 7,495 metres (24,590 ft), Peak Korzhenevskaya 7,105 metres (23,310 ft), and Ibn Sina Peak (formerly Lenin Peak) 7,134 metres (23,406 ft) on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border. In the Tian Shan there are two Snow Leopard peaks, Jengish Chokusu (formerly Peak Pobeda) 7,439 metres (24,406 ft) in Kyrgyzstan (divided by the border with China), and Khan Tengri 7,010 metres (23,000 ft) on the Kyrgyzstan-Kazakhstan border.

Khan Tengri's geologic elevation is 6,995 metres (22,949 ft) but its glacial cap rises to 7,010 metres (23,000 ft). For this reason, it is considered a 7000m peak.

In order of difficulty, Peak Pobeda is by far the most difficult and dangerous, followed by Khan Tengri, Ismail Samani Peak, Peak Korzhenevskaya, and Lenin (Ibn Sina) Peak.There are more than 600 climbers, including 31 women, who have received this award since 1961 till 2012 (not all of them gained five peaks)

The Search for the Snow Leopard

The Search for the Snow Leopard is a Hardy Boys Digest novel, written by Franklin W. Dixon. It is the 139th volume in the Hardy Boys series of detective/adventure books and was published in 1996.

The Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard is a 1978 book by Peter Matthiessen. It is an account of his two-month search for the snow leopard with naturalist George Schaller in the Dolpo region on the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalayas.

The Snow Leopard (EP)

The Snow Leopard is a digital EP by the Austin, Texas band Shearwater, released on October 14, 2008. It includes the title track, which originally appeared on their album Rook, as well as several new tracks, live versions, and radio sessions.

Tua Forsström

Tua Birgitta Forsström (born 2 April 1947) is a Finnish writer who writes in Swedish. She was awarded the Nordic Council's Literature Prize in 1998 for the poetry collection Efter att ha tillbringat en natt bland hästar. Forsström's work is known for its engagement with the Finnish landscape, travel and conflicts within relationships. She often uses quotations in her work, sometimes placing them directly into her poems and at other times using them as introductions or interludes in her sequences. She has used quotations from Egon Friedell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hermann Hesse and Friedrich Nietszche. In the collection After Spending a Night Among Horses (Efter att ha tillbringat en natt bland hästar) (1997) Forsström uses quotations from the Andrei Tarkovsky film Stalker, they are placed as interludes in a sequence of pieces and sit alone on the page, without direct reference to their source on the page, leaving this to a Notes & Quotations section at the end of the book.

She published her first book in 1972, A Poem about Love and Other Things (En dikt om kärlek och annat). Her breakthrough into the English-speaking world came in 1987 with her sixth collection, Snow Leopard (Snöleopard), which was translated into the English by David McDuff and published by Bloodaxe Books. In 1990 the book won a Poetry Book Society Translation Award in the United Kingdom. In 2006, I Studied Once at a Wonderful Faculty was published by Bloodaxe Books, with translations from David McDuff and Stina Katchadourian. The collection contains Snow Leopard (Snöleopard) (1987), The Parks (Parkerna) (1992), After Spending a Night Among Horses (Efter att ha tillbringat en natt bland hästar) (1997) and a new poem sequence called Minerals.


XQuartz (formerly and often still informally referred to as is Apple Inc.'s version of the X server, a component of the X Window System (X11, or shortened to simply X, and sometimes informally X-Windows) for macOS. The name "XQuartz" derives from Quartz, part of the macOS Core Graphics framework, to which XQuartz connects these applications. XQuartz allows cross-platform applications using X11 for the GUI to run on macOS, many of which are not specifically designed for macOS. This includes numerous scientific and academic software projects.

Big cats on the Indian subcontinent
Extant in the wild
Extinct in India
Under reintroduction
Extant Carnivora species

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