Monday, March 30, 2009

Food Chain


Snow leopards are one of the top predators in the high mountain food web of Central Asia.
Snow leopards help to keep the ecosystem in balance by preying on Himalayan marmot populations. Are important to the alpine pastureland because their burrowing aerates the soil which, like plowing, helps the grasses grow. The grasses are important to the wild sheep and goats (which are also snow leopard prey) and also to the livestock that mountain people depend upon for their existence. Snow Leopards are capable of killing prey up to 3 times their own weight. Their most common prey sources are: wild sheep and goats; pikas; hares; game birds. They kill on the average of 1 large prey item every 10-15 days and stay with the kill for 3-4 days.

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