The unusual looking Pallas's Cat (Otocolobus manul) is found in the cold, arid montane grasslands of central Asia. The Pallas's Cat's thick shaggy coat enables it to survive the harsh climate and its short legs and low set ears help it to blend in with the sparse cover. Habitat loss and degradation due to human and livestock expansion are the primary threats to this unique wild cat, as well as declines in prey species targeted in pest control programs.
Key Facts about Pallas's Cats
~ Thickly furred coat that changes color seasonally ~
~ Low set ears that assist with camouflage ~
~ Pupils contract to circles and not slits ~
Pallas's Cat (Otocolobus manul) Classification
The Pallas's Cat belongs to the genus Otocolobus and the full taxonomy, scientific classification or higher classification of the Fishing Cat species (Otocolobus manul) is as follows:
Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)
Class: Mammalia (mammals)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)
Family: Felidae (cats)
Subfamily: Felinae (small cats)
Species: Otocolobus manul (Pallas's Cat)
Pallas's Cat (Otocolobus manul) Subspecies
The global conservation status for the Pallas's Cat is Near Threatened (NT) and populations are declining.
Three subspecies of Pallas's Cats have been described in the past:
- Otocolobus manul manul
- Otocolobus manul nigripectus
- Otocolobus manul ferrugineus
However as per the latest Felidae taxonomic revision (2017) just the first two subspecies are recognized pending further research:
- Otocolobus manul manul - China (Gansu), Mongolia, central Asia and Kazakhstan, south Siberia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Otocolobus manul nigripectus (black markings more distinct) - Tibet, Kashmir, Nepal and Bhutan
Pallas's Cat Conservation & Research
The following organization is dedicated to research and conservation of Pallas's Cats:
Please support them with their important work. No matter how small or large your donation, every bit helps!
Pallas's Cat Facts and Information
The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Pallas's Cats:
- Pallas's Cat Fact Sheet - International Soc. for Endangered Cats (ISEC)
- Pallas's Cat Images and Video Clips in the Wild - ARKive