The number of wild cat Pallas, which is a rare species and is listed as endangered, in the Russian territory is highest in Tuva, in part because of the lack of serious threats to the animal in the region, told RIA Novosti 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 Russia, manul is on the periphery of its range …. The central and largest fragment of the Russian part of the range is manul in Tuva. Manul number in this country has always been relatively high, and the area of suitable habitat for a large. However, information about its size and distribution in the Republic of Tuva until recently remained poor …. In the past year we have significantly updated information on the number and distribution of Pallas in Tuva, recharge database Sibecocenter. Later this should serve to better monitoring and protection of Pallas in the country ", — said Barashkova.
Specialists to account Pallas in some areas of Tuva. In the area of monitoring hit the eastern part of the Central Tuva and Uvs Nuur Basin and north of the Turano-Uyukskoy basin. In addition to search for traces of life and other evidence of wild cat researchers interviewed local residents, including shepherds, gosinspetorov Reserve. Polls and search should also be on the pastoral sites in Mongun-Taiga mountain site. As a result, scientists have mapped the habitat manul in Tuva with the division on the habitats (different types of terrain).
"The results of the survey confirm that Tuva — really important region Pallas' habitat. Density meet its traces on the results of surveys in the middle of winter trail 2.6 to 10 square kilometers (maximum — 5.0 on steep rocky slopes.) Is a half to two times greater than the rate obtained earlier for the Southeastern Altai "- said Barashkova.
In this case it had previously reported, in the south-vostoyanoy part of Gorny Altai, according to their estimated lives of at least 350-400 Pallas'.
Lots of food and few threats
According to Barashkova for manul important presence of settlements dahurica pikas, mountain voles and other colonial rodents, in which wild cat hunts. In Tuva manul chooses to stay slopes intermountain basins and hummocky arrays within these basins, it attracts and mountainous Mongun-Taiga mountain site. The total area of the territory in the region, according to experts, is about 37,000 square kilometers. In this case, because of the biological characteristics and the presence of food, the Pallas cat inhabits the area evenly.
"Based on the polling information, data surveys and other research materials, we have identified seven key areas of habitat manul in Tuva. This is the right bank of the river Ulug-Khem, low hills in the left bank of the Kaa-Khem, the southern slopes of the Eastern Tannu-Ola and Western Tannu-Ola Sands on the left bank of the river Tes-Khem, granite outcrops in the left bank of the Tes-Khem and Mongun-Taiga mountain junction "- explained the interviewee.
The expert added that, in general, is now Tuva is one of the regions where there is little danger Manuli. Among the major threats to the animal Barashkova allocated attack herding dogs (about 20% of the researchers report any deaths of Pallas' cats to dogs) and economic development of the territory.
"The main threats associated with the start of the construction site of the railway Kyzyl Kuragino, the development of mining and tourism facilities. Currently, major development projects are few and affect habitat manul slightly," — she said.
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.