~ this big cat lives in the high mountains, where it is very
cold *brrr*. Strictly speaking in the Himalayas, Pamir,
Hindukusch, Altai, Tienschan as well as in other central asian
mountains. For example a few countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan,
China, India, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Kazakhstan,
Kirgisistan, Tadschikistan and Usbekistan.
~ it feel well in the open plateau and at highlands of 1800
to 6000 meters with low or missing tree vegetation (better
speaking the tree line).
~ the Irbis has a thick coat which has a look of whitish,
yellowish-light brown with grey splotch rosettes. One mistook
it for a Leopard through its coat mostly.
~ its thick coat reaches from the muzzle to the tail tip. Even
under the paws it formed to a protecting pad. So the Irbis
can move over snow surfaces well, without sink completely in.
Length 95 to 130 cm (measured without the tail)
Shoulder height approx. 60 cm
Tail length 80 to 110 cm
Weight female 25 to 40 Kg
Weight male 45 to 75 Kg
~ the average age is around 15 years.
~ the Irbis is a looner.
~ from Januar till March is the mating time. After a pregnant time
of 96 till 105 days usually they get 2 to 5 cups. The cups are blind
the first 7 to 10 days. The female hide its cups in crevice during
the first 6 to 8 weeks and suckle them. Afterwards they get solid
food and the cups accompanies its mother through the territory.
Up to an age of 5 months they were suckle in addition. After one
year the young animals has to leave their mother and has to look
for its own territory.
~ independet of the time of day the irbis is hunting. Their
menu extends from blue sheep, ibex, screw goats, musk animals,
wild boar, yaks, thar, serau over whistling rabbits, marmot,
pheasants and snow chickens, even pets.
~ The scientists dispute about the name of the snow leopard.
In former times it was classified to the species Panthera
uncia, thus a member of the big cats. Now it has its own genus
designation, Uncia uncia. The snow leopard, also mentioned
Irbis, it is a carnivore which is on the one hand a big cat
as well as on the other hand a small cat, because it has a biological
special position. It never roars like a big cat, but it purrs and yelp
like a small cat.
It also eats its food not in lying but more in
crouching (typically for small cats) position.
The Iribis is shorter and lighter than a Leopard,
and named by the specialists as "middle cat".
~ it can jump up to 15 meters with a single leap. This cannot be
imitated by a big cat.
~ in summer time you can find the Irbis over the timber line. In
winter one finds it below 1800 meters.
||Panthera (Big Cats)
||Panthera uncia // Uncia uncia
(Snow Leopard / Iribis)
(c) Annett Noack 2004 - 2009