Population of wild Pallas' cat, who suffered from poachers in the middle of the last century, gradually recovering in the Altai Mountains, the region is currently home to at least 400 animals, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday coordinator Siberian Environmental Center (Novosibirsk) Anna Barashkova.
Manul — a rare predator of the steppes of Eurasia and polustepey, included in international and Russian Red Book. This wild cat has the status of Near Threatened. According to scientists, the number of animals is reduced. In addition, it is threatened by poachers, there is a threat of disappearance of suitable habitat. In Russia, is the northernmost habitat of the animal, manul is found mainly in the mountain-steppe and desert-steppe landscapes of the south-east of the Altai Republic, the Republic of Tuva, Buryatia, and in the south-eastern part of the Trans-Baikal region.
"In the Altai Mountains we conduct surveys manul since 2006 at various points. Basically it Chui steppe and its outskirts, Saylyugemsky ridge. We figure out that the number of Pallas in the Altai Republic is about 350-400 individuals, but I think it is too low evaluation. Their probably more, but certainly no less. This is not a kind of thin, like the snow leopard, but manul rare case and not everywhere. He needs specific habitats, so there was a coincidence food conditions, good shelter and so on . Those surveys difficult to carry out, you can just walk past the site where he lives, not to notice him, accordingly, do not count "- told Barashkova.
The number of animals in the region, according to the ecologist, is gradually increasing, which indicates a gradual recovery of the population.
"In the middle of the last century was not enough because of the manul poachers who hunted animal for beautiful skin … a lot of it was pastoral sites, respectively dogs, people. Basically, influenced and anti-plague measures when baited rodents, squirrels, rats and killed all that can be alive, "- said the researcher.
The expert explained that there are no exact figures of the total number of animals in the whole Russia. However, it is estimated that in recent years there is a tendency restore the population of Pallas, not only in the Altai Mountains, but also in other Russian regions, where it lives.
"Right now, we (with experts Siberian ecocenter — Ed.) Are talking about a possible joint expedition to search for Pallas' cats in the Altai Reserve. Need to find out how to reserve constant manul, because he can live here, but can simply go into" — told RIA News Director Igor Reserve Kalmykov.
According Barashkova, foreign environmentalists this summer to take pictures of kittens Pallas, who captured the camera traps in the northern part of the range Chikhacheva near the reserve.
"It is clear that in the reserve area is somewhat different, but I wonder how there comes manul, whether he lives in the reserve. Simply place is very similar," — she said, adding that negative for manul habitat in these areas could be that in the winter a lot of snow here.
Another name Pallas — Pallas cat. He got it in honor of the German naturalist Peter Pallas, who discovered Pallas on the coast of the Caspian Sea in the eighteenth century. There is a hypothesis that it is related to the Persian cats that look like it fluffy wool, rounded shapes and a rather unusual shape of the head of other breeds. The tips of thick gray wool — white, why think manul lightly snowing. He has a stocky build, than domestic counterparts. Pallas weight — about five pounds. A paws — a thick and short.