Snow LeopardsThe snow leopard or ounce (Panthera uncia syn. Uncia uncia) 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, as of 2003, the size of the global wild population was estimated at 4,080–6,590 adults. Fewer than 2,500 individuals may be reproducing in the wild. As of 2016, estimates for the size of the global population vary from at least 4,080 to about 8,700 individuals.
Snow leopards inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft). In the northern range countries, they also occur at lower elevations.
Taxonomically, the snow leopard has been classified as Uncia uncia since the early 1930s. Based on genotyping studies, the cat has been considered a member of the genus Panthera since 2008. Two subspecies have been attributed, but genetic differences between the two have not been settled.