PALLAS'S CAT ECOLOGY

PALLAS'S CAT ECOLOGY PROGRAM

The Pallas’s cat is listed as 'Near Threatened' on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is thought to be at risk from habitat fragmentation, a declining prey base, and consumptive hunting. Current status of Pallas’s cat highlights its need for protection. Its ecology remains poorly understood, impairing the development of conservation strategies. Most records of their occupancy and distribution are in mountainous areas, steppes and rocky outcrops, suggesting that these are their preferred habitats. Approximately 12% of the species' range in Mongolia occurs within protected areas. But the steppe zone in which most of their distribution is, is out of protection of the species.

Pallas's cat occpancy survey: With the support of the Rufford Grant for Nature Conservation, which is a UK charity established specifically for the development of Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation (RSGs), we conducted a habitat occupancy survey in the region in 2018 and 2019. The project evaluates habitat requirement, sheltering sites of Pallas's cat in breeding or none breeding season.

Pallas's cat diet survey: We have conducted Pallas's cat diet survey since started research into Pallas’ cat ecology in Khalzan Soum, Sukhbaatar Aimag. Brandt’s vole density started to increase in 2017, peaked in 2018-2019, and decreased in 2020. We collected feces of Pallas’ cats every month from May, 2019 to May, 2020.  We found a significant correlation between rodent abundance and occurrence in scats of Pallas’ cats during the kitten rearing season. Result published in internation journal.

Pallas's cat camera traps survey: This project is supported by the Small Cat Action Fund from Phanthera. We collected camera trap data in the Khalzan soum area of Sukhbaatar aimag in November of 2021. The project aims to quantify the distribution, abundance, and habitat requirements of Pallas’s cat in steppe environment in Eastern Mongolia.

Pallas's cat movement and homerange survey: This project is supported by the Mohamed bin Zayed Conservation Fund. We are collecting movement data from 2 female and 2 male GPS collared Pallas's cat in the Khalzan soum region of Sukhbaatar Province from April to December of 2021. We have plant to continue the survey in next years if find support.