Special exhibition and outdoor area in Haltia - The Finnish Nature Centre 5.12.2019-29.3.2020
In the Land of the Snow Leopard lets you accompany French nature photographer Frédéric Larrey as he tracks the snow leopard at the rugged Tibetan plateau. Now you can see Larrey’s photos and expedition report at Finnish Nature Centre Haltia from 5 December 2019 until 29 March 2020.
In the Land of the Snow Leopard is divided between two spaces at Haltia. The highlight of this inside exhibition is on the snow leopard, the threats it faces and its conservation. The exhibition also includes a documentary called “In harmony with the snow leopard”, which describes Frédéric Larrey’s photography expedition. Haltia’s outdoor exhibition area also introduces you to other animals of the Tibetan plateau and the people who live there in harmony with the snow leopard.
Some of the shown species (or their close relatives) you can see at Korkeasaari Zoo in Helsinki.
Entrance with Haltias' exhibition ticket. Free entrance with Helsinki Card and Museum Card!
Snow leopard facts:
Height: 55-65 cm
Length: 90-115 cm
Tail length: about 100 cm
Weight: Usually about 25-55kg, but males weighing up to 75 kg have been reported.
Snow leopard’s leap: up to 15 metres
The snow leopard mainly lives in cold, rugged mountain areas. The cat’s territory can cover an area of up to 1,000 km2. It usually moves alone and avoids people. Snow leopards are not generally aggressive and there are no records of attacks on people.
Snow leopards are most active at dawn and dusk. Their primary diet consists of various hoofed animals such as wild goats and sheep, for example markhor and blue sheep. The snow leopard’s closest relative is the tiger.
Range and threats of the snow leopard
Snow leopards live in the mountainous areas of Central Asia, such as the Himalayas and Altai. Their territory stretches across 12 countries. The natural population of snow leopards is estimated at approximately 4,000–6,600 animals and the species is classified as endangered. The species is spread over a wide area and is threatened by fragmentation of its habitats. If the habitats are isolated from each other, the remaining populations will be so small that inbreeding might become a problem.
Threats to the snow leopard are: poaching, grazing and livestock farming and climate change.
How are snow leopards protected?
Conservation organisations like Snow Leopard Trust, WWF and Panthera work with local groups to prevent poaching and illegal trade, improve environmental awareness, and make the situation easier for local residents. For example, higher fences provide better protection for livestock and reduce the number of snow leopards killed by herders. The conservation work also involves developing new sustainable livelihoods for local people as well as predator compensation systems that support both snow leopards and residents.
For more information about snow leopard conservation:
Snow leopard conservation at Korkeasaari Zoo/Conservation at zoos
Approximately 400 snow leopards live in the world’s zoos, and the species has its own conservation programme. Under this programme, suitable individuals are mated to ensure that the zoo population remains genetically diverse.
Snow leopards have lived in Korkeasaari Zoo since 1967. In 2012, Korkeasaari Zoo became a member of the international Snow Leopard Trust organisation and now supports conservation work for wild snow leopards. Research on the species’ habitats and behaviour, supporting the livelihoods of local residents, and environmental education are all important parts of this work. Korkeasaari Zoo’s donations have been allocated to equipping snow leopards with GPS collars and ground-breaking research on blood samples to determine the causes of disease in natural snow leopard populations. The droppings of snow leopard cubs have also been studied at Korkeasaari. This data has allowed researchers to specify the age of wild cubs that accompany their mothers in certain areas.
Pictures: Frédéric Larrey