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The snow leopard (Panthera uncia or Uncia uncia) is a moderately large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia. The classification of this species has been subject to change, and as of 2000, it is still classified as Uncia uncia. However, with more recent genetic studies, the snow leopard is now generally considered as Panthera uncia and classified as such by IUCN. Classically, two subspecies have been attributed, but genetic differences between the two have not been settled. The snow leopard is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as globally Endangered (EN).
Snow leopards occupy alpine and subalpine areas generally 3,350 to 6,700 metres (10,990 to 22,000 ft) above sea level in Central Asia. McCarthy and Chapron (2003) compiled national snow leopard population estimates, updating the work of Fox (1994). Many of the estimates are acknowledged to be rough and out of date, but the total estimated population is 4,150–7,350. However, the global snow leopard effective population size (those likely to reproduce) is suspected to be fewer than 2,500 (50% of the total population, or 2,040–3,295). There are also approximately 600 snow leopards in zoos around the world.
There are no records of any snow leopard ever attacking a human being.
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