Last year on this day, I released a post titled “Big Cats in the Snow for Christmas.” It literally just featured pictures of various big cats in the snow, and it was one of my most successful posts of 2017. Here is the sequel to that unexpected hit, which I have christened “More Big Cats in the Snow for Christmas.”
Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)
The Amur leopard is one of the most endangered cats in the world. This subspecies of leopard (Panthera pardus) lives in the Russian Far East, and numbers just over 80 individuals. Sadly, this is an improvement over estimates of 30 Amur leopards in the year 2000. While the growth of Amur leopard populations is a conservation success story, we need to keep doing all we can to help this beautiful cat recover.
Lion (Panthera leo)
Here is something you do not see every day: a lion in the snow. This photo was not taken in the wilds of Africa, but at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, DC. Lion populations are declining rapidly, and we need to act swiftly and decisively to prevent the extinction of one of the most iconic animals on Earth. In a recent post, I shared a National Geographic story which claimed that snaring is now the dominant threat to Africa’s lions.
Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)
Of course, no post about big cats in the snow would be complete without a picture of a snow leopard. This blog is replete with information about these extraordinary cats, including this recent post.
Tiger (Panthera tigris)
The tiger’s vibrant, orange coat contrasts beautifully with the snowy background in this post’s featured image, which was taken in Boston (presumably at a zoo). The tiger is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and is closer to extinction than perhaps any of the ‘true’ big cats (those species in the Panthera genus). Tigers face many threats, including poaching for the Traditional Asian Medicine trade, and the conservation organization Panthera estimates that there are now only 3,900 tigers left in the wild.