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n the most remote mountain ranges of Asia, on the highest peaks and in the steepest canyons, one of the world’s most elusive big cats is edging towards extinction. What can be done to secure a future for the majestic snow leopard?

Snow leopards live a solitary life in the mountains of Central Asia, usually at elevations of 3,000 to 4,500 metres (although they have been observed at 5860m). Given the extreme altitude of their perilously steep environment, and the bitterly cold climate, they are among the hardest of top predators to study. Nobody knows for sure how many there are. Estimates range from as few as 3,290 to as many as 8,700 – a difference of over 5,000 cats.

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Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) old male on a cliff ledge in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) old male on a cliff ledge in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Spiti river valley and mountains around Key seen from Gette, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Spiti river valley and mountains around Key seen from Gette, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Tracker looking with binoculars for Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February 2017.  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Tracker looking with binoculars for Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February 2017.
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) juvenile walking in snow, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) juvenile walking in snow, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) male running hunting Himalayan ibex on the snow in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) male running hunting Himalayan ibex on the snow in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Mountains at sunrise seen from Kibber village, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Mountains at sunrise seen from Kibber village, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) female with her two juveniles resting in a cliff cave, Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) female with her two juveniles resting in a cliff cave, Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Two poached Snow Leopard skins (Panthera uncia) held by a Ranger, Tchoichin (left) and the Director of Gobi National Park (right) Mongolia,  -  Eric Dragesco
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Eric Dragesco / Two poached Snow Leopard skins (Panthera uncia) held by a Ranger, Tchoichin (left) and the Director of Gobi National Park (right) Mongolia,
Tracks of a Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) on a snow-covered slope. Ulley Valley, Himalayas, Ladakh, India.  -  Nick Garbutt
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Nick Garbutt / Tracks of a Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) on a snow-covered slope. Ulley Valley, Himalayas, Ladakh, India.
Chicham village in a winter afternoon, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Chicham village in a winter afternoon, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) male running hunting Himalayan ibex on the snow in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) male running hunting Himalayan ibex on the snow in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) male on the snow stalking a group of Himalayan ibex in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) male on the snow stalking a group of Himalayan ibex in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Alpine plateau at 4300 metres, near Gette, in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Alpine plateau at 4300 metres, near Gette, in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Blue Sheep or bharal (Pseudois nayaur) at 4,450 metres,Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Blue Sheep or bharal (Pseudois nayaur) at 4,450 metres,Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Himalayan ibex (Capra sibirica) male on snow, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Himalayan ibex (Capra sibirica) male on snow, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) old male at dusk looking from a cliff ledge in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) old male at dusk looking from a cliff ledge in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) old male at dusk looking from a cliff ledge in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) old male at dusk looking from a cliff ledge in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Woman with a domestic yak (Bos grunniens) in Kibber village at 4.270 m, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Woman with a domestic yak (Bos grunniens) in Kibber village at 4.270 m, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Sheep pen covered in wire to protect livestock from Snow leopard (Pantehera uncia) attack in the village of Kibber in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh,...  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Sheep pen covered in wire to protect livestock from Snow leopard (Pantehera uncia) attack in the village of Kibber in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh,...
RF - Wild female Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) with its kill - a domestic yak calf (Bos grunniens). Ladakh Range, Western Himalayas, Ladakh, India. (This image may be licensed either as rights managed...  -  Nick Garbutt
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Nick Garbutt / RF - Wild female Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) with its kill - a domestic yak calf (Bos grunniens). Ladakh Range, Western Himalayas, Ladakh, India. (This image may be licensed either as rights managed...
Key monastery at 4,170 metres,Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Key monastery at 4,170 metres,Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Felt Snow leopard toys made by villagers. Part of a broader eco tourism initiative to augment their income and change local attitudes towards Snow leopards. Ulley Valley, Himalayas, Ladakh, northern I...  -  Nick Garbutt
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Nick Garbutt / Felt Snow leopard toys made by villagers. Part of a broader eco tourism initiative to augment their income and change local attitudes towards Snow leopards. Ulley Valley, Himalayas, Ladakh, northern I...
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) male in snow, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) male in snow, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Photographer Oriol Alamany walking in snow near Kibber, Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March 2019. Model released.  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Photographer Oriol Alamany walking in snow near Kibber, Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March 2019. Model released.
Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) female with two cubs climbing a canyon cliff at dusk at 4400 metres, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) female with two cubs climbing a canyon cliff at dusk at 4400 metres, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) female with juvenile, walking in snow, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) female with juvenile, walking in snow, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) walking in snow, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) walking in snow, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) female with her two juveniles, sniffing a territorial mark in a rock, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) female with her two juveniles, sniffing a territorial mark in a rock, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) old male on a cliff ledge in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) old male on a cliff ledge in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Robin accentor (Prunella rubeculoides) in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Robin accentor (Prunella rubeculoides) in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in flight in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in flight in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Young Blue sheep or Bharal (Pseudois nayaur), Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Young Blue sheep or Bharal (Pseudois nayaur), Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India
Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) in flight in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) in flight in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the snow around Kibber, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the snow around Kibber, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Himalayan ibex (Capra sibirica) male resting, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Himalayan ibex (Capra sibirica) male resting, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India
Robin Accentor (Prunella rubeculoides) in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Robin Accentor (Prunella rubeculoides) in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Blue Sheep or Bharal (Pseudois nayaur) male animal scratching at 4,450 m in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Blue Sheep or Bharal (Pseudois nayaur) male animal scratching at 4,450 m in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) in flight in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) in flight in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Yellow-billed chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) flying through snow in Kibber, Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Yellow-billed chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) flying through snow in Kibber, Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) in flight in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) in flight in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) male stalking Himalayan ibex on the snow in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) male stalking Himalayan ibex on the snow in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Kibber canyon in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Kibber canyon in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Spiti river and Dhar Chara Thang mountain sen from Malling in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Spiti river and Dhar Chara Thang mountain sen from Malling in Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Kibber village at 4.270 metres, at sunset, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Kibber village at 4.270 metres, at sunset, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India, February
Black-winged Snowfinch (Montifringilla adamsi), at around 4,300 metres, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Black-winged Snowfinch (Montifringilla adamsi), at around 4,300 metres, Spiti valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya mountains, Himachal Pradesh, India
Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the snow around Kibber, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the snow around Kibber, in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Ice waterfalls in the depth of Sudong canyon near Kibber, Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Ice waterfalls in the depth of Sudong canyon near Kibber, Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
Domestic yak (Bos grunniens) in Kibber village in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March  -  Oriol  Alamany
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Oriol Alamany / Domestic yak (Bos grunniens) in Kibber village in Spiti Valley, Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh, India, March
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