Pallas’s cat in the Altai Republic, Russia.
CATnews 54: 4-7.
Pallas’s cat is a small wild cat occurring in Russia at the northern periphery of its global range. The results of Pallas’s cat surveys conducted in the Altai Mountain area are presented in this paper. Before the 2000s, there was no special research undertaken on Pallas’s cat population numbers and distribution in the Altai part of its range, except for the gathering of interview data in the late 1990s. This study carried out snow-tracking and obtained survey data on the species from 2006 to 2009 in the Altai Republic, one of the core habitats for Pallas’s cat in Russia. Pallas’s cat density reaches 1.20-2.18 individuals per 10 km2 in the main Pallas’s cat habitats. A total of 480-650 Pallas’s cats were estimated to live within the Altai Republic. The areas of high conservation value for Pallas’s cat are situated on the Sailughem and Kurai ridges. The main threats to the species are poaching and killing by dogs. It is necessary to estimate the threats from possible human activity, such as mining. It is presumed that educational work with local people will reduce deaths amongst Pallas’s cats. The creation of new protected areas within the key habitat of Pallas’s cat in the Altai Republic, including the enlargement of the recently-created national park on Sailughem ridge, is very encouraging.