Deep in the mountains of Central Asia lives a rare and elusive wild feline called the Pallas’ Cat.
They are currently listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but recent evidence has given scientists cause for hope.
On August 31, the Pallas’ Cat International Conservation Alliance announced that footage of a full-grown cat as well as a litter of cubs had been captured in the Zoolon Mountains of Mongolia. Remote sensor cameras recorded the adult cat hunting for prey in broad daylight, as well as three fluffy cubs curiously inspecting the recording equipment on night-vision.
The gorgeous Pallas’ Cat is about the size of an average house cat with long dense fur, a flattened face and extravagantly long whiskers. Sadly, their numbers have steadily dwindled due to excessive hunting for their silky coats.
The Pallas’ Cat is one of the world’s least studied felines with scientists knowing very little about their behavior patterns. In an effort to learn more about the elusive species and protect them from extinction, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland joined forces with Swedish breeding center Nordens Ark and US-based conservation organization Snow Leopard Trust.
The team is ecstatic that their recently launched project has already yielded such encouraging results. They hope that the study, which will last at least 3 years, will shed light on the Pallas’ Cat’s ecology and the threats facing them in the wild in order to ensure their continued survival.
Featured Image via Facebook/Pallas’ Cat Study and Conservation Program