Pallas' Cat

Pallas' Cat

Common Name:Pallas Cat Family:Felidae
Latin Name:Felis manul Diet:Carnivore
Type:Carnivores Habitat:Woodlands
Native To:Asia Social Unit:Individual
IUCN Red List Status:Near Threatened   

Pallas Cat

Pallas Cat (Felis manul)

Here at Highland Wildlife Park we have two adult Pallas cats, a female, Alula, and male, Beebop. The best time to see the cats is early morning and late afternoon.

On 30 March 2014 Alula gave birth to six kittens (2 males and 4 females) in a special off-show area and they are continuing to do really well.

pallas_cat.jpgPallas cats in the Wild

The Pallas cat was named after the German naturalist Peter Pallas, who discovered them in the 18th Century. They are found in Iran, China, Russia, Mongolia and Tibet, living in rocky deserts and barren mountainous regions.

Pallas cats are most frequently encountered at dusk or in early morning. They make their den in small caves and rock crevices but will take shelter in the burrows of marmots, foxes and badgers. They will sleep here during the day until dusk, when it is time to hunt. Pallas cats have dense fur to cope with their cold, dry environment, and they wrap their tail around their body for extra warmth when sitting or lying.

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Their diet consists mainly of pikas, which are a small mammal in the rabbit family. They also feed on larks, sand grouse, voles and ground squirrels.

Pallas cats are seasonal breeders, with most litters being born in April-May. If their natural cycle is interrupted, they will not breed until the following year. After a gestation period of two to three months the Pallas cat has a litter of six to eight kittens. The lifespan is the Pallas cat is approximately twelve years.

Pallas cats have long been hunted for their fur although the demand for this has decreased. Sadly, they are now in danger from other factors. The numbers of their prey are being reduced; they are considered carriers of disease and poison is put down to kill them. As well as food shortages, the poison will also kill the Pallas cat.

Breeding programme category: EEP

IUCN Red List category: Near Threatened

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