The Snow Leopard Population Decline


Nicole Long

Snow Leopard illustration

Peyton Jensen, Staff Writer

Imagine taking a trip to South Asia, seeing the scenery and then on your last day of your trip, you see the most amazing sight you’ve ever seen! You just saw an ounce or a snow leopard. That is a once in a lifetime experience, and the chances for it to happen are diminishing. Snow leopards are close to extinction, and it’s important to spread awareness about this problem.

First, what is a snow leopard? According to,  ounces, or snow leopards, are exotic cats from the tallest, coldest mountains in the South Asia region. Snow leopards are dying off for various reasons. They can kill things up to 3x their size. The main thing they eat are goats, sheep and ibex. The main issue is that their natural prey sources are being either killed off from climate change, or they are being taken and tamed by farmers. Then, when the snow leopards kill one of the farmer’s animals, the farmers usually retaliate.

Secondly, the snow leopard population is quickly diminishing and not many people are aware of it. When interviewed, Cottonwood High sophomore, Joscelyn Uremovich said that she had no idea that the snow leopard population was going down. She knew they were endangered, but misinterpreted it, because when asked, she estimated the population would be near half a million snow leopards. But, according to, there are only 2,500-10,000 left in the wild. This shows how under informed the average person might be towards this subject.

That being said, the general population needs to be more informed about snow leopards. According to, the snow leopard population represents the overall health of the environment. If there are lots of healthy snow leopards, then the environment is doing well, and vice versa. But, the snow leopard population decline could be part of something bigger, the entire area could be deteriorating caused by temperature rise and farming.

Finally, how could we solve this issue? One interesting point from our interview was that word of mouth can be stronger than you think. If everyone who read this article was to tell another person, and told them to tell someone, a lot more awareness could be spread. Another big solution would be to stop polluting, if everyone did their part it could really help. The greenhouse effect has melted snow in the natural snow leopard habitat, and it has made them have less prey.

Snow leopard numbers are declining exponentially. Snow leopards could be extinct within the next few years if we don’t take action. If everyone does their part, it could really help.