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Snow Leopard Population by Country 2024

Snow leopards live at high altitudes in mountainous regions of Asia and go where they can find plenty of prey and places to take cover. Suitable habitats for these majestic cats has been shrinking, leading to the snow leopard being named on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of vulnerable species. But how many snow leopards are currently living around the world in different countries? Where are their numbers highest? The snow leopard population by country is estimated with data that's as recent as 2023, but some numbers haven't been confirmed since the early 1990s.

Snow Leopard Population by Country

With these big cats scattered around the Asian continent, it's important to get an up-close look at the population numbers by country to see where they're thriving and struggling to survive. Right now, China has the largest snow leopard population by country with between 2,000 and 4,500 snow leopards living within the country from data as recent as 2016. Researchers believe that about 60% of the world's snow leopards live in China. The second-highest population of snow leopards lives in Mongolia, followed by India.

The total number of snow leopards in the world according to this data is somewhere between 4,080 and 6,590 today. While they're no longer considered endangered, their small numbers leave their population vulnerable.

Is the Snow Leopard Population by Country Rising or Falling?

Overall, the snow leopard population is increasing over time as conservation efforts improve and people ensure their habitats are protected. The population of snow leopards has declined by about 20% over the past quarter-century, but their numbers are actually growing in some areas. Bhutan's confirmed snow leopard numbers have increased about 40% since 2016, an excellent sign that the population there is rebounding. India's Himachal Pradesh region has seen increases of around 18%. Experts note that climate change, deforestation, and poaching are all threats to the current snow leopard population. If measures are taken to ensure habitats are undisturbed and poaching is reduced, this species' numbers could begin to make a major rebound.

  • The global snow leopard population is estimated to be 2710-3386 individuals as of 2023, shared between all countries included in the species' range.

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Snow Leopard Population