Photography of Snow Leopard in Mongolia’s Wild West

Mongolian photographer, traveler Batzaya Choijiljav, took remarkably successful expedition to photograph Snow Leopards in West Mongolia. We share his recent trip pictures that show iconic rare creature, the Snow Leopards and its habitats with brief information of this Mongolian endangered wild cat.   

The photographer says, “Known as the mountain ghost, this iconic big cat is captured in my lens, on my recent wildlife photo trip in Mongolia. As a photographer it is my dream to take it with my camera, as a Mongolian residence it is the rare creature that I help to save it, as a tourism professional it is the reason to take ultimate adventure to find them.  “Here I share with you some Snow Leopard photos, are taken in Mongolian Altai mountains from my latest photographic adventure, in January 2020.  

photo of snow leopard by batzaya choijiljav

The Snow Leopard  (Panthera uncia) in Western Mongolia in January, 2020.  © Batzaya Choijiljav


Quick Facts About the Snow Leopard

Name: Snow Leopard

Mongolian name: Цоохор Ирвэс

Scientific name: (Panthera uncia)

IUCN Status:  VU (Vulnerable)

Population:  Total estimated: ~4,080-6,590

Location: Central Asia

Habitats: Cold, high mountains

Diet: Ibex, Argali wild sheep, domestic goat, sheep, horse

Body Length: 75 – 150cm /29,5- 60in/, plus tail length of 80-105cm

Weight: 25-55kg /55-121lb/

Mating Season: January to mid-March

Lifespan: 10-15 years

Snow Leopards in Mongolia

According to the official sources, Mongolia is home to the second largest population of snow leopard in the world and there are about 500-1,000 individuals live Mongolia’s high mountain ranges, up to 3,000-4,000 meters above the sea level. In Mongolia, the snow leopard range is about 103,000 km2 and they can be found in western, south western part of the country. The largest population is in west Mongolian high mountain ranges, and small amount of them inhabit in the Gobi, the south region of Mongolia. Also very few tracks have been discovered in the Khovgsol and Khangai Mountain ranges. They roam in the rocky cliffs, where Siberian ibex, Argali wild sheep are also occurred because of its prey. Snow leopards can survive in the harsh rugged conditions at minus 20 to minus 60 Celsius degrees in winter. 

snow leopard habitat mongolia

Snow Leopards Habitat in West Mongolia. in January, 2020.  © Batzaya Choijiljav

Photographing Snow Leopards in Mongolia

Every photographer knows that the photographing wildlife is the most challenging game, especially photographing the Snow Leopard in their wild natural habitat is the biggest dream of any wildlife photographers. The world’s one of the rarest cats, an endangered snow leopards are only about 6000, left in the wild on our planet and can be found in Central Asian 12 countries. So photographing them is undoubtedly the big game. 

snow leopard mongolia photo by batzaya photography

On snowy day, the Snow Leopard, staring at the sky in Western Mongolia in January, 2020.  © Batzaya Choijiljav

In last decade, I have traveled and arranged photography tours and expeditions all over the country with Ayan Travel Company. And the most remarkable adventures were held in the remotest corners of Mongolia for wildlife photography. I and my small group photographic crews have spent the most adventurous days in hard weather conditions, dwelling in surviving shelters, traditional ger/yurt, traveling on horse and reindeer back, hitting the off-roads, whatever else we needed to do to photograph Mongolia’s most iconic wild animals.


Based on those adventure and photography travel experiences, I arrange Snow Leopard Photo Adventure in Mongolia in last years. If you are eager to take this Rare Cat’s picture, then register the next trip. Contact at 





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