Would you ever take a trip back in time and see what were the animals millions of years ago? If the cats do not need to, as there Manul — about 12 million years ago, it was one of the first versions of those cats, from which came the modern cats. According to research by scientists Man’ula have not changed since then. There was another kind — the cat Martelli, but it is completely gone. Manul — a unique animal that opens a window into the past of modern cats
Manul — the only wild cat, similar in size to domestic cats. It may seem a little high only because of its very thick fur. Despite the fact that it looks a little awkward, it’s very graceful, agile and fast. He has all the traits of the cat family, it’s great to survive in the wild and can hold his own against other predators
The main reason for the survival of Pallas over millions of years was its isolation. It lives in the wild Asian steppes, at altitudes up to 4 miles. Manul lives in India, Pakistan, western China and Mongolia, as well as in Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Recently, this cat was also found in the wilds of Siberia Sayan. In these places he prefers rocky areas. semi-desert and barren hillsides. In other words, a place where there is least likely to meet his enemy. I think it should not be hard to guess that at this point his main enemy — a man.
Currently three subspecies known Pallas: nominal, or Siberian, living in the northern part of its range and is characterized by a general gray color fur Central Asian, featuring red fur (characteristic of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and North wound), Tibetan, which is peculiar to the darker color of fur with the presence of the black bars on the body and tail, and a bright spot on the head (lives in northern Pakistan, northern India, Tibet, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan).
Manul, in general, a small cat weighing 2 to 5 kg and a body length of up to 65 cm — almost like home, furry wide tail has a length of 23-30cm. Overall, it looks like a normal cat, but with a tight body on short thick legs and a very dense, light gray fur. Manul most fluffy among all members of the genus feline — 1 square centimeter of its back to 9000 located hair. Each hair has a white tip, making fur seems as if sprinkled with snow. Hair length fur Pallas reaches 7cm. Color alternating light gray and pale-red tones, thin black band is on the tail, the back of the body and on the muzzle. Pallas on the forehead — Krapina dark and handsome tail tip painted black.
At Pallas big yellow eyes — fast, moving, alive. Unlike domestic cats, the pupils are round, rather than vertical, like, for example, tiger. At Pallas very good vision and hearing, but he developed sense of smell worse.
Itself manul — the slow and clumsy of all wild cats, he can not run fast. Manul is sedentary and solitary lifestyle. Each animal lives in a single, well-defined territory, to which the expelled accidentally wandered back neighbor. To hunt out in the early morning and at night, hiding during the day and slept in caves or crevices. Its main food — rodents, but can catch a rabbit or a small squirrel, bird. Summer catches nasekomyh.Potomstvo manul brings every year, it is the litter of two to six cubs. Mating period is, as it should have cats in February — March. «March cats» put up a fight for the cats, but the participation in education kittens dad is not accepted. Mom-manul carefully carers licks, warm and fed milk. But if the mother is angry, she bites the kittens. At the age of 3 months manulyata comes to the hunt. In the wild, manul live 10 — 12 years.
Everywhere, not excluding the protected areas, manul rare or extremely rare, sometimes it is on the verge of extinction. The exact number is difficult to establish the animal because of secretive behavior manul and patchiness of its distribution. Manuli quite successfully breed in captivity, although zoos are faced with a high mortality rate among young manul from toxoplasmosis. Man’ula toxoplasmosis in the wild do not get sick, they are infected by domestic cats in captivity.
The main threats to manul are habitat destruction, including as a result of grazing and mining, poaching, Cattle and wild dogs. Despite the ban, continues unworthy trade mittens and even coats of fur that rare beast.
Manul listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation, the IUCN Red List and in Appendix II of CITES (1995). In the IUCN Red List (Replace the Red Book of IUCN) status Pallas labeled as «near threatened»
In 2010, at a conference of the Eurasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (EARAZA) has been reviewed and approved by the international scientific and industrial complex program «studies, preservation and reproduction of Pallas’
The program lasts for 10 years. During the program, the researchers plan to develop the technology of keeping and breeding of Pallas in artificially created conditions, to create a stable breeding and genetically complete captive population manul in artificial conditions, to obtain the most complete information on the biology of this species in captivity and in the wild, to promote conservation Pallas’ in nature.
In addition to the main executors of the program — the Moscow Zoo and several zoos with Pallas ‘cats in their collections and to adhere to the program — co-executors of the program are ICPO «Siberian Environmental Center» (Program for the Study and Conservation of Pallas’ cat), laboratory protozoal infections Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. NF Gamaleya and GPBZ «naped Reserve» (Transbaikal region).
Manul, like other cats, prefers solitude. Male and female meet briefly during the rut. Raising cubs born engaged only female. The size of individual plots are not clear, the data on this is only indirect and fragmentary. For example, notes that while hunting manul can escape from his lair in the rocks at 0.1-1 km, visiting the nearest parts of grassland and fields, deposits and rocks. During the breeding season the female in heat go some males, between which are often violent fights.
It feeds mainly manul pika and rodents: gerbils, voles, ground squirrels, hamsters, and grouse and ptarmigan. Sometimes catches young marmots, hares, Tola, and small birds nesting or foraging on the ground. Catches its prey, concealed or guarding it from rocks and holes. From shallow burrows of rodents can get a paw. A significant proportion of the diet are insects manul.
In the world’s zoos Man’ula rare inhabitants. Despite the apparent simplicity of their content, any zoo failed to achieve a stable and regular breeding.
For the first time at the Moscow Zoo Man’ula appeared in 1957, and since 1987 it has become the image of Pallas’ cat logo, but the exposition is very hard to see it: this secretive cat out for a walk alone in the dark, when visitors leave the zoo. Pallas is a small aviary aviary between lynx and leopard. Currently not on display manul — aviary is under construction. Holders of an unusually thick warm fur animals flourish, living all year round in outdoor aviaries. In cells establish tree trunks and manul in nature only travel by land, willingly climb on them and even climb on the ceiling grids cells, just like a monkey. As a den for them to put the wooden houses, where the winter is put a warm bed of hay. In zoos Man’ula eat meat, but the best food for them are whole carcasses of rodents and quail, which are specifically bred for that purpose. Manuli has an interesting feature: the fall in October — November, they have increased the appetite. The animals eat a half times more common and rapidly gaining weight — weight of adult males at this time can be up to 10 kg. But in December — January appetite deteriorates Man’ula and sometimes even eat in a day.
Mating season in Pallas’ cats in captivity there, as in nature, in February — March. Cubs in months of age begin to emerge from the nest, trying to eat adult food. At six months, they reach the size of adult animals, as age females is able to grow.
Manuli — animals stenotopic, ie found only in areas with particular landscape and climate. The fact that they are taken out of a familiar environment, weakens their immune system, to the same diseases that affect manul, still poorly understood. Grow small Manuli in the zoo is not easy even if the mother takes good care of them. Kittens often get sick and die. To protect them, with weeks of age up to three months every two weeks they are vaccinated against infectious diseases of cats, and then vaccinated annually for life. Pallas’ females are very nervous and anxious mother, if they feel that the pups in danger, they are trying to move and hide the kittens. In search of a better hiding place, they can run for a long time with a baby in his mouth, and so can not help to destroy him.
Adults Man’ula also the patient’s lungs for veterinarians. Sick they are shy, not showing symptoms of the disease as long until it’s too late. Often about the health of the animal to be judged by the expression of eyes and a barely noticeable nuances of behavior. Pallas’ treat is also not easy for veterinary measures they have to catch the special nets and firmly fixed. These are not big cats desperately protected and long claws and sharp teeth can inflict wounds no joke. But there are exceptions of Pallas’ cats, we live in a zoo manul named Sultan. He was caught in the wild young and lived at the zoo for a long time. Already in his old age, he hurt his neck, and the wound does not heal. When he came for treatment, he rises on his hind legs, leaning against the front edge of the house and substituted for obrabatyvaniya neck wound.
Very difficult to grow Manuli, for some reason left without a mother. Once one of the females manul contained in our zoo, had to do C-section. After the operation, the female could not she take care of children, and we have got were two vosmidesyatigrammovyh kitten. Urgently by all his friends and acquaintances began to look familiar domestic cat kittens recently. The cat was found, and its owners, although very experienced, agreed to lend us his favorite time with her six kittens. Siamese cat was wonderful mother and raised Manuli with kittens, without making any distinction between them. But manulyata, despite the fact that they are often taken up and weighed every day, remained savages. While their half-brothers and sisters fled to the man, and willingly played manulyata tried to hide, scoring in the shelter. When it came time to teach Manuli to meat, the first thing that made a little savage, scenting meat — grabbed the tiny teeth in the finger, which had pieces of meat, and bitten through his blood.
Manuli not tamed and, even after living for many years at the zoo, do not come into contact with people. But once we have brought to the zoo a female young Pallas, who caught quite a baby and raised in Moscow apartment. The owners did not have long to enjoy the company of a charming cat, she quickly became unmanageable, attacked family members, and they had to give it to a zoo. Small predator, being a predator, lost fear of humans. Any appearance of a minister in the cage she perceived as an attack on its territory and attacked, trying to get to face the newcomer, so serve this chetyrehkilogrammovuyu cats come together. One drove the aggressor in a corner and something pinched her there, and the second quickly cleaned the cage and put food. Although this aggressive behavior is not typical for Pallas’, these extraordinarily beautiful cats are not suitable to be pets.
Recently, interest has increased in zoos Manuli, new methods of investigation and surveillance. Much attention is paid to the study of their disease. Perhaps soon we will learn a lot about the lives of these secretive animals, and keeping and breeding them in zoos will no longer be a problem. New knowledge will help protect Pallas’ cats in their habitats, and the creation of a stable breeding population in captivity to reduce withdrawal from nature.
Category: Flora and Fauna