Talk:Snow leopard

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Snow leopard is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
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December 28, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
January 9, 2007Featured article candidateNot promoted
Current status: Former featured article candidate

File:Snow leopard portrait.jpg to appear as POTDEdit

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Snow leopard portrait.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on March 2, 2015. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2015-03-02. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:38, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

A portrait of a snow leopard (Panthera uncia) at the Rheintal Zoo in Germany. This species of big cat in the genus Panthera is native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. The snow leopard's adaptations for life in a cold, mountainous environment include a stocky body, thick fur, small rounded ears to minimize heat loss, and a short muzzle with unusually large nasal cavities that help the animal breathe the cold, thin air.Photograph: Tambako The Jaguar


I would like to point out that this article makes no mention of Tibet where a great number of snow leopards live. It does not mention the Tibetan name for a snow leopard. By calling Tibet China you create confusion- and it is introducing politics into a wild life subject. (talk) 09:03, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Looks like it says Tibet to me. First paragraph, last sentence, "Distribution and habitat" section. - UtherSRG (talk) 14:00, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

I don't see Tibet in the Range Country table, either- did someone remove it? Tibet's been a separate place for hundreds of years. Tibet is Tibet. Why isn't it listed? TBH that's the area I think of when I hear the term "snow leopard." Just curious. Tabbycatlove (talk) 20:35, 22 February 2017 (UTC) Tabbycatlove (talk) 20:35, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

See this. — Punëtori' Rregullt 17:35, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

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Emblematic use - Wrongful Ossetian reference?Edit

Given the range of the Snow Leopard (Himalayas primarily), it seems unlikely Ossetia would use it in its emblem . The more so since the Caucasian/Persian leopard is endemic to the Ossetia region (located in the Caucasus). (Its depiction in the coat of arms is also closer to a Persian Leopard rather than a Snow Leopard)

Not being an expert of the region however, would make sense someone verifies and corrects this?

Cheers — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:06, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

I think you are correct; based on range, this is very unlikely to depict a snow leopard, and only specific (literally) mentions I can find for the identity of the emblematic animal say "persian leopard". Amended, but better sourced opinions naturally welcome.--Elmidae (talk · contribs) 09:22, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 28 May 2017Edit

While to a ignorant person a snow leopard and a leopard (Panthera pardus) may seem like same species but different subspecies, they are in fact not and snow leopard is a misnomer. I understand that ounces are called snow leopards mainly because their coat colors are similar to the coat colors of a leopard.

Snow leopards and leopards are not the same species. Calling them snow leopard promotes the thinking that snow leopards are biologically closer to leopards than they actually are. In fact, leopards are more related to lions than to snow leopards!

Therefore I strongly recommend that the title of this article "Snow leopard" be renamed to "Ounce".I suggest creating a redirect link "ounce" that leads to this article.

Ounce is a nickname? Words have the meaning to which we assign them to!

Gyrkin (talk) 23:02, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

  Not done: That sounds like a nickname, and definitely not the primarily recognized definition of the term over the weight measurement. A link already exists in the Ounce (disambiguation) page, I feel this is all that is needed. — IVORK Discuss 23:09, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
  Not done: You're going to want to read WP:COMMONNAME. Cannolis (talk) 23:46, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 August 2017Edit

In 2015, The Adams Morgan Writing Group published DC Je t'aime: A Short Story Collection that features an escaped snow leopard as a running theme through all of its stories. Robertkmoore40 (talk) 13:39, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

  Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — IVORK Discuss 14:02, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

Snow leopard population estimates.Edit

In the first paragraph, the last sentence currently says: "As of 2016, estimates for the size of the global population vary from at least 4,080 to about 8,700 individuals.[3]"

This is misleading. A global population estimate that quotes these numbers was indeed published (see source), but it is not based on peer-reviewed data, and it's validity is disputed by a significant number of experts. See e.g. [1] for details.

I suggest therefore to add the following sentence to the paragraph: "However, there is currently no peer-reviewed assessment of the global population that is widely accepted by experts in the field."

For context only: The question of population size is at the core of a larger dispute about the snow leopard's Red List status. Later this month, the IUCN is expected to change the status from Endangered to Vulnerable, which is again being met by some experts with praise, and by others with opposition. See [2] for example.

Once this change becomes official, the Wikipedia page will need to be edited accordingly. It's critical that both sides of the debate be given adequate and fair consideration.

Disclosure: I work for Snow Leopard Trust, one of the organizations disputing the claims of a higher population. MatthiasFi (talk) 11:20, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

It strikes me that there are too many numbers mentioned in the opening paragraph of the article and that they are poorly described. It might be better to put a simple statement that the snow leopard was declared endangered in 2003 based on a declining population and estimates of [the IUCN numbers given then] and possibly add that the current global population is being debated. Then leave the discussion of the different sets of numbers for the population section of the article, where it can be more fully explained. Any reassessment can be added to the lede when it happens.   Jts1882 | talk  13:16, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
  Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) (talk) 13:47, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 October 2017Edit

"In 2013, government leaders and officials from all 12 countries encompassing the snow leopard's range (Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, 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." to "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." BibekRajShrestha (talk) 14:48, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

  Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Nihlus 18:47, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
The request was to add Nepal to the lists of countries. It's hard to see the difference in the two versions. As the text mentioned 12 countries and only listed 11 of the range countries I made the change. The whole section is without a citation, though, so I've added the citation needed template.   Jts1882 | talk  12:47, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

Incorrect numbers given in 1st paragraphEdit

The last line of the first paragraph of this article says that "As of 2016, the global population was estimated at 4,678 to 8,745 mature individuals.[1][3]"

These numbers do not correspond with the numbers in the sources that are provided.

Source [1] in the article ([1]), in fact states that the number of mature individuals was between 2,710-3,386.

The second source provided, which is a book, rather than a peer-reviewed publication, does not mention the category of "mature individuals" at all, and is therefore not relevant to the numbers provided.

The paragraph also omits the fact that a wide range of population estimates currently exist, and that there is an ongoing dispute in the scientific community as to their respective validity.

For instance, the Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP), in which all snow leopard range countries are represented, estimates the population to be at 3,920 - 6,390 individuals. Source: [2]

It is requested that the last line of the paragraph be changed as follows:

"As of 2016, the global population was estimated at 2,710 to 3,386 mature individuals.[1]"

If deemed necessary by the editors, additional information can be added to reflect the fact that there are various, widely different population estimates (as pointed out in source [1] above, but not mentioned in the article, and to further point out that these are all "guesstimates at best", as stated in the Snow Leopard Survival Strategy ([3]), MatthiasFi (talk) 02:25, 11 March 2019 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by MatthiasFi (talkcontribs) 13:10, 18 February 2019 (UTC)


Discussion of range is incomplete. According to the map, the snow leopard ranges into China, including the regions of Xinjiang Uigur, Inner Mongolia, and, apparently, Gansu. Tibet is mentioned, but that should more correctly be recast as China, specifically, Xizang Zizhiqu region. 2601:589:4B00:7AB:3D5F:87F6:3435:67EC (talk) 02:33, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Since 2008Edit

I'm unable to locate a citation to confirm:

"Since 2008, it is considered a member of the genus Panthera based on results of genetic studies."

McCarthy and Chapron state in 2003 that it is considered Pantherinae citing articles from 1978 and refer to it as Uncia uncia. See, page 13:

They then later cite articles referring to panthera uncia. First, on page 61 and notably a reference is made to Blomqvist, L. 1978 which refers to the species as panthera uncia.

Furthermore, the wiki article includes an image showing snow leopard as a member of panthera in 2006. The phylogeny section states that snow leopards were identified as related to tigers in 2006, which was confirmed in 2009. But there is no mention there either of 2008 or what would have motivated a move to genus Panthera in 2008.

I'm not sure what the authoritative body for genus placement is, but given the lack of citations, it appears to me that 2008 could be in error. Andwats (talk) 04:03, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

In 2008, the IUCN Red List for snow leopard was updated, and assessors recognised it as a Panthera species. The genetic study referred to is Johnson et al. (2006). -- BhagyaMani (talk) 06:30, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
All the genetic studies linked are 2006. The earliest available assessment from IUCN is 2002 and also seems to indicate the taxonomy Panthera uncia. See:
To me it looks more accurate to say that there has always been discussion about classification but since genetic studies in 2006, it has been included in Panthera. That consensus is unclear. ITIS, for instance, lists Panther uncia as invalid and then indicates Uncia uncia is the valid taxonomy:
Andwats (talk) 16:59, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
Yeah to my knowledge the valid taxonic name is still Uncia uncia even though snow leopards are placed in Panthera I can try to take a look to see if some journal articles of this year have come out focused on the snow leopard, and see what binomial name they are using as well. As of right now I believe it is fully accurate.Mcelite (talk) 05:44, 25 May 2019 (UTC)
I think the placement is correct. I don't see a specific date to when that change happened. It seems to have always been considered panthera by some scholars, which is reinforced by genetic studies going back to the 1980s. BhagyaMani edits are appropriate, in my opinion. Andwats (talk) 15:41, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
Historically there has been considerable variation on whether the snow leopard got placed in its own genus, Uncia, or got included in Panthera. While all other Panthera species were considered more closely related, this was largely a subjective judgement on where the line should be drawn for different genera. The molecular evidence placing the snow leopard as sister to tiger makes Panthera paraphyletic with respect to Uncia if two genera are used, which is why the snow leopard is now placed in Panthera by recent taxonomic sources. The IUCN Specialist Cat Group taxonomy is now used on all Felidae articles.   Jts1882 | talk  16:46, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
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