National heritage animal of Pakistan
Snow Leopard is the official National heritage animal of Pakistan. Snow Leopard was entitled as official Pakistan’s National heritage animal. The scientific name of the Snow Leopard is Panthera uncia. It is a catlike animal belonging to the animal kingdom. This animal is in danger of extinction. Pakistan’s National heritage animal, Snow Leopard is native to the mountain region of Central and South Asia, which are well distributes to the west of Lake Baikal through southern Siberia, in the Kunlun Mountains, in the Russian Altai mountains, Sayan and Tannu-Ola Mountains, in the Karakoram in northern Pakistan, in the Pamir Mountains, and in the high altitudes of the Himalayas in India, Nepal, and Bhutan, Tian Shan, across Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to the Hindu Kush in eastern Pakistan 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.
The name of Pakistan’s National heritage animal, Snow leopard reproduces the fact that in ancient times, it was believed to be a hybrid of a lion and a panther. The familiar name “leopard” is a Greek compound of λέων leōn (“lion”) and πάρδος pardos (“male panther”). It has a big size and leading nature. It has a huge effect on its environment relative to its abundance keystone species, as it is implicit, through controlling the population levels of prey such as herbivorous and granivorous animals, apex felids maintain the structural integrity of forest systems. Due to all these facts, Snow Leopard officially becomes the National heritage animal of Pakistan. The Snow Leopard is also the national heritage animal of Pakistan and the state animal of Indian state Uttar Pradesh.
National heritage animal of Pakistan Facts
- Common Name: Snow Leopard
- Scientific Name: Panthera uncia
- Color: The snow leopard is an average-sized cat, which has a fur coat color is generally a dull gray or dull and burnt yellow, underlined with shades of white in most places.
- Length: from the nose to the base of the tail, of the cats varies from 4.0 to 5.0 feet.
- Weight: Males weigh can be 60–121 lb (30–55 kg), the females little smaller than the male.
- Cubs: Leopard cubs are generally born between the months of January and March, but it may occur at other times of the year. After a gestation period of 90 to100 days, the female will give birth to a litter of 2-3 cubs.
- Diet: The Snow Leopards are carnivores animal, however, they aren’t particular eaters. Their main diets are mountain sheep like the Asiatic and Siberian Ibex, Bharal (Pseudois nayaur or blue sheep), markhors, urial, goats, langurs, deer, and boars. Smaller prey includes hare, Pikas (Ochotona), and rodents. Snow leopards also hunt small birds like the snow cock and Chukar (Alectoris chukar). They are opportunistic feeders, so they would eat anything that those are found across their path if they fail to hunt big animals.
- Behavior: solitary outside mother–cub groups. Adults generally meet only to court and mate though limited no courting socialization has been observed anecdotally. The snow leopard demonstrates a crepuscular activity pattern, which means they are most active at dawn or dusk. They have the ability to hiss, growl and moan like all of the big cats but cannot roar.
- Lifespan: 12-15 years in wild while 20 – 22 years in captivity.
Pakistan’s National heritage animal, Snow Leopards are lone animals and live and hunt alone. The only exception is during mating season. The male’s home range is usually between 19 and 53 square miles and often overlaps with the smaller home ranges of multiple females. A male forcefully protects his home range and resident females from other males. They frequently swim, bathes, plays and even hunt for fish in streams and pools. Like all members of the big cat family, Leopards can’t roar. The vocal tissues and chords of a snow leopard are not as capably developed as the other big cats. However, they are able to produce sounds like hissing, purring, wailing, growling, mewing, and chuffing.
Pakistan’s National heritage animal, Snow Leopards are promiscuous, that means both males and females Leopard have multiple mates. Females magnetize possible mates by excreting pheromones in their urine. She initiates mating by walking back and forth in front of a male and brushing up against him or swatting him with her tail. Then the male accumulates the female even as frequently biting her nape. Usually, they give birth once per every 15 to 24 months. Female Leopards characteristically give birth to two or three cubs. Snow Leopard cubs are born blind and achieve their sight within two weeks.