Pallas’s Cat Discovered in a New Habitat
True enough, various tiger species and subspecies are disappearing in front of our eyes, but at least we know what’s going on and we know what lions, cheetahs or tigers or leopards are. Small cat species are disappearing too, and even more quickly, though for the most part people may not have ever heard of these cats. And their roles in the environment is every bit as significant as lions cheetahs, tigers or leopards.
The Pallas’s cat is a species of small wild cat with thick, soft fur and an abundant dark, woolly underfur which typically weighs around 6 to 10 lbs. And wearing a winter coat, they can withstand the cold.
The species was first described in 1776 by the Prussian zoologist and botanist Peter Simon Pallas, who now has a cat named for him. Unsure if Mr. Pallas was a grumpy guy but these cats are likely the original grumpy cat. They dine on anything they can catch, and like all small cats around the world, their dispositions can hardly be called “sweet.”
The Pallas’s cat occurs in critically small numbers in Central Asia, from the Caspian Sea through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India to central China, Mongolia and Siberia.
A very recent discovery, according to the Journal Cat News, found these cats living in a very remote high-alpine ecosystem and extending to eastern Nepal and onto Mount Everest.
These findings add a new species to the list of known mammals in Sagarmatha National Park, a heavily visited and protected World Heritage site.
All small wildcat species are threatened or endangered and many critically endangered, such as the Pallas’s cat. Other disappearing small wild cats you may not have ever heard of include the Asian Fishing Cat, Geoffrey’s Cat, Flat-Headed Cat, Marbled Cat and many others – which may go away forever before most people are aware they even existed. WildCat is an AmazonPrime movie featuring efforts to re-introduce young captive Ocelots to the South American jungle.