Irbis is the Mongolian name for Snow Leopard, which is used in various other languages as well.
In Furscape MUCK, the Irbis species refers to genetically modified descendants of snow leopards from Earth, who were taken on board the spaceship Queckshiaulriaul of Kirru scientists who landed in the Himalaya mountains in the year 1400.
When attempting to explore another planet, their ship was damaged but could escape. The spaceship was mostly destroyed in a crash landing on Jalan, but its crew, including the snow leopards, could escape thanks to the ship's elastic construction. The kirru scientists managed to modify the snow leopard's genetic material, enabling later generations to speak various languages and walk upright if necessary.
Today's irbis population has spread from Jalan to various other planets, and while they are still well-adapted to life in the high mountains like their ancestors, they are also good at using technology and excellent for diplomatic positions, though their paws are not as well-suited for fine work as those of recoms with human DNA.