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Last updated:
March 21, 2017

ABOUT PALLAS CAT
Habitat and Distribution

Chaa-Kholskiy district, Tyva. © Elvira NikolenkoWhile Pallas' cat habitat is rather large, its contours are ragged and the animal inhabits it only sporadically. Another trait characteristic of the habitat is that it is broken down into separate isolated areas of unequal size.

Pallas' cats inhabit rocky deserts, semi-desert areas and steppes situated, as a rule, on slopes of low mountains (up to 1000-1500m). In the few regions where semi-deserts and steppes are found at high altitudes (the Gobi region, the Tiang-Shang, the Pamir) it has been observed as high as 3000-4000 meters above the sea level and higher. The Pallas' cat habitat is characterized by sharp continental climate with very low winter temperatures (up to -50° C) and little snowfall, because Pallas' cat is ill adapted for walking on thick snow. One of the reasons area is so fragmented is that the animal prefers to settle near stone outcrops, ravines and in rocky areas that provide shelter from its natural enemies. Besides, rocky environment provides plenty of pikas and rodents that Pallas' cat hunt, and makes it is easier to ambush their prey as well.

The fact that Pallas' cat tends to distribute sporadically makes it difficult to accurately evaluate the dynamics of its habitat's change over the years. Some experts claim that no changes worth considering took place during the last hundred years, except the vicinity of the Aral sea, Kazakhstan steppes and, to some degree, Transbaikal, where Pallas' cat habitat evidently diminished.

Map by Geptner, 1972

Supported by Global Greengrants Fund     Maintained by A. Barashkova Translated by J. Krakovna and A. Barashkova     Design: D. Senotrusov