Pallas cats (Felis manul, Pallas 1776; syn. Felis manul, reclassified by Johnson et al. 2006) are wild monotypic felines of the genus Felis, which are from the leopard cat lineage, endemic to central Asia. They are most abundant in Mongolia and the Tibetan Plateau; however, they have a broad but patchy distribution across central Asia and are considered rare and uncommon from the Caspian Sea through southern Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Ladakh, western and central China and southern Russia and Siberia.
Biogeographic Regions: palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native )
Pallas cats are small felines, about the size of domestic cats but appear heavier due to their long, fluffy fur coats. Their body length ranges 50 to 62 cm, with tail lengths of 23 to 31 cm and they usually weigh between 2.5 and 5.0 kg. They show no significant sexual dimorphism; however, males may be slightly heavier. They have a small spherical head, a thick build, short stocky legs and a thick furry tail that does not thin or become pointed at the end. They have a short, protruding muzzle and a large forehead with bulging, large eyes, set low and directed forward, which gives the impression of a ‘flat face’. This is intensified by the shape of their broad ears and the large bunches of elongated hairs occurring on their cheeks and under their ears.
Pallas cats have very long, fluffy, silky fur that is characterized by white-tipped guard hairs that project prominently over a darker pelage, although there can be considerable inter-individual and sub-species variation of coloration. Their coat is generally a complex combination of light grey, with pale yellow to ocherous or pale yellow to reddish patches on their flanks and a dirty white posterior abdomen and groin. There are often six or seven narrow black transverse strips dorsally, extending onto the sides, which may vary in length but are always located posterior to the shoulders. Their tail is uniformly grey above and below, with a very small black tip and seven narrow black fields surrounding. Their legs are generally grey, with short brown hairs between the digits that do not cover the pads or form tufts. The darkest coloration occurs on their neck and chest, especially between their forelimbs and transitioning into a dirty white throat and abdomen. Their head is mostly a pure, light grey with scattered black spots. Their eyes, upper and lower lips and their nasal region are surrounded by white patches. There are two narrow black strips under their eyes on their cheeks, one of which terminates at their ear and the other extends around to the back of their neck. The back of their ears are grey, with a pale yellow tinge and black fringe at the tip with tufts of white hairs in front and on the inner surface of their ear pinna. White vibrissae are present on their cheeks and over their eyes.
Their skull is rounded and relatively broad laterally, with a very short rostral region and large orbits that are set vertically and directed forward. Their palate is short and broad. Tympanic bullae are set closely together and are not large, but have a swollen and highly developed antero-outer chamber, with a distinct suture between the ectotympanic and endotympanic chambers. Their angular process is short and thin. Their cheek teeth form an acute angle and are in a plane together with a line joining their molars. Their second premolars are invariably absent in the upper row, with short massive upper carnassials that lack an antero-inner cusp. There are no sex-related structural differences in the skull of Pallas cats, aside from the females being somewhat smaller.
Range mass: 2.5 to 5.0 g.
Range length: 500 to 620 mm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike
Pallas cats are found in temperate grassland biomes and in the mountain steppe and semi-arid desert habitats characteristic of central Asia. These areas are comprised of open flatlands, hills, upland steppe, rocky outcrops and ravine habitat. Sightings of Pallas cats have been reported up to 1,500 meters above sea level in Russia, and up to 1,700 meters above sea level in Mongolia. The habitat of Pallas cats in Russia is dominated by vegetation composed of Artemesia, Festuca, Stipa, and a variety of small shrubs. These areas are characterized by temperate continental climates with temperatures ranging from 38 degrees Celsius to -43 degrees Celsius. These areas often have small amounts of precipitation (generally less than 200 mm), most of which falls as rain in the summer. Pallas cats are poorly adapted to moving through deep snow, so their habitat is restricted to areas with less than 10 cm of snow cover during the winter.
Pallas cats are habitat specialists, confining their activity largely to, or near rocky and ravine areas, as a predator avoidance strategy. Pallas cats use marmots' (Marmota sibirica) burrows and rock crevices as dens on a daily basis, such den sites are essential habitat for this species. Dens are chosen significantly more in rocky or ravine habitats. There are three main den types used by Pallas cats on an annual basis including summer dens that are either abandoned marmots' burrows or rock dens; maternal dens, which are usually rock dens with many entrances for predator avoidance or escape; and winter dens, which are usually marmots' burrows and provide increased thermoregulatory and heat retention benefits over rock dens. Pallas cats show fidelity to a particular den for consecutive days and often return to the same den after spending time in other parts of their home range.
Habitat Regions: temperate
Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; mountains
Habitat and Ecology
In the grass and shrub steppe of central Mongolia, annual home ranges were found to be strikingly large for a small felid, although it is not clear if such large ranges are typical for the species (Brown et al. 2003). Ongoing research there (S. Ross pers. comm. 2008) measured home ranges as follows:
Female = 100% MCP = 50.8 +/- 43.0 km², 95% MCP = 27.1 +/- 23.6 km²; n = 10
Male = 100% MCP = 158.5 +/- 179.2 km², 95% MCP = 100.4 +/- 101.2 km² n = 8
During the study Pallas cats were found to have a strong association with rocky, steep areas and were rarely found in open grasslands (where they may be more vulnerable to predation by sympatric carnivores: S. Ross pers. comm.. 2008).
Preliminary results based on radio-tracking of Pallas cats in Daursky state nature reserve (Chita region of Russia) shows that annual home range varies from 5 to 30 km² (n=3) (Kiriliuk et al. 2008 via pers. comm. A Barashkova 2008).
In China, Pallas cats feed predominately on pikas (Ochotona), small rodents (Alticola, Meriones, Cricetulus), birds (partridge-Pyrrhocorax), hares (Lepus) and marmots (Marmota), and appear to be most numerous where pikas and voles are abundant and not living under deep snow cover (Wozencraft et al. in press). In Mongolia, preliminary analysis of scats indicated that gerbils (Meriones spp) and jerboas (Dipus sagitta and Allactaga spp) were the main prey, wih lambs of the Argali sheep (Ovis ammon) taken during the spring (Murdoch et al. 2006). Populations may fluctate widely with their small mamal prey base (Purevsuren 2004). Activity is predominantly crepuscular, although they can be active at any time (S. Ross pers comm. 2008).
The majority (85.5%) of Pallas cats' diet is comprised of small rodents and pikas (Ochotona dauurica). Pikas are an especially important component of their diet in the summer months. Pallas cats are dietary specialists who depend on pikas for the majority of their energy requirements, as they are two to three times larger than other available prey species. Specializing in capturing pikas reduces their foraging costs, per unit of energy gain. In addition, pikas are relatively slow moving compared to rodents and use distinct trails to move between burrows, making them much easier to locate and capture. In the winter months, there is a distinct diversification of Pallas cats' prey base, to a more generalized foraging strategy, likely due to decreasing availability of all prey. In a study of 146 scat samples, the most frequent small mammal remains were Daurian pikas (Ochotona dauurica), Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) and mountain voles (Alticola stoliczkanus), but there were also small amounts of passerines, carrion and insects present. There are also sexual differences in dietary diversity, with females narrowing their dietary niche to a greater degree than males in summer and generalizing their dietary niche to a greater degree than males in winter.
Animal Foods: mammals; carrion ; insects
Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats terrestrial vertebrates)
There has been very little research in regards to the role Pallas cats play in steppe ecosystems. Pallas cats are ‘mesocarnivores,’ which suggests that they are mid-trophic level carnivores whose diet is comprised mostly of meat, but also some invertebrate material. They are successful predators of pikas and small rodents, and are in turn predated upon by larger carnivores, such as red foxes and wolves. They depend quite strongly on abandoned marmots' dens for shelter in the winter. Pallas cats may undergo interspecific competition with the following species: red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), Corsac foxes (Vulpes corsac) Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), steppe polecats (Mustela eversmanii), mountain weasels (Mustela altaica) and a number of raptor birds.
Pallas cats are highly susceptible to the obligate intracellular coccidian, Toxoplasma gondii, in captivity worldwide. Domestic cats, and other members of Family Felidae are likely the definitive hosts, it is transmitted placentally and through lactation, from mother to kittens. In Pallas cats, no treatments are completely effective at clearing the body of the tissue cysts caused by T. gondii and once it is contracted, it is most often fatal. This is likely the limiting factor of successful propagation of this species in captivity, as there is a high newborn mortality in kittens (~60%) within four months of birth. The cause of this extreme susceptibility to this condition in Pallas cats is unknown. The maternal immune response in seropositive pregnant Pallas cats is not protective for the kittens, as it is in domestic cats and other cat species. In a study of 15 wild and 9 captive Pallas cats, 87% of the wild individuals were negative for T. gondii, while 100% of the captive individuals were positive for the parasite. This lack of T. gondii in wild Pallas cats suggests that they have minimal exposure to this parasite in their natural habitat and only become infected after being brought into captivity. Furthermore, T. gondii oocysts have poor survivorship at high altitudes and extreme temperatures, which likely makes the hot summers and bitterly cold winters typical of Pallas cats' habitat, a difficult environment for the parasite to propagate and spread. Should the population of Pallas cats in the wild decrease to a point where extinction is imminent, it is unlikely that current captive reproductive individuals could be re-introduced, due to the severe mortality associated with T. gondii, unless a successful treatment is developed.
- Toxoplasma gondii
Pallas cats face the possibility of predation from a variety of terrestrial and aerial predators, such as red foxes, wolves, domestic dogs and large birds of prey. Humans are also known to hunt Pallas cats, especially in Mongolia where body parts are said to have a medicinal value and furs may be used in subsistence living or nomadic trading.
Given the threats of predation faced by Pallas cats, they spend most of their time in 'safe' habitats, such as rocky hills or ravines, while avoiding open areas like steppe and grasslands. Pallas cats rely primarily on their preferred rocky habitat to avoid detection by predators and escape if pursued. Threatened Pallas cats will run into a ‘bolt hole’, such as a rock crevice or den, slink down low and freeze next to rocks or vegetation, or run into the cover of nearby rocks or ravines. Furthermore, they move slowly compared to other sympatric and predatory carnivores and rely on crypsis and camouflage with their background, this is accomplished with their complex coat pattern and color. Pallas cats may be poor runners; therefore running is an unlikely means of escape from large terrestrial or aerial predators.
- red foxes (Vulpes vulpes)
- Corsac foxes (Vulpes corsac)
- wolves (Canis lupus)
- large birds of prey (Aves)
Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic
Known prey organisms
This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Life History and Behavior
Captive Pallas cats spray and cheek rub like many Felids, but this behavior is unconfirmed in wild populations. These behaviors likely provide temporal information between individuals and may reduce the probability of hostile encounters.
Communication Channels: chemical
Other Communication Modes: scent marks
Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
Adult Pallas cats have an average lifespan of 27.1 months in the wild, with mortality heavily biased towards winter.
Status: wild: 27.1 months.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Pallas cats display a polygamous mating system, typical of most felids, males mate with several females in a given mating season. There is little, to no dimorphism between sexes; however, scratches were seen on male’s faces, suggesting an ad-hoc mating strategy, where several males compete for a female. Females were not observed with fighting injuries. Mating may occur in dens, with the male staying in close proximity to the den for three to four days after copulation, likely to guard his mates during receptivity. Breeding is highly seasonal and is photo-dependent; females produce one litter of kittens per year. Mating occurs between December and March, with litters born between late March and May.
Mating System: polygynous
Gestation in female Pallas cats lasts for approximately 75 days; their altricial kittens are born blind and helpless, with dense fuzzy pelage. Litter sizes in captivity average 3.57 (±0.53) individuals per litter, but have ranged up to six or eight per litter; however, the average litter size in the wild is not known. In Mongolia, 31.9% of kittens survived to adulthood, with no significant difference between males and females.
Breeding interval: Pallas cats breed once a year.
Breeding season: The breeding season for Pallas cats occurs from December to March.
Average number of offspring: 3.57.
Range gestation period: 74 to 75 days.
Range time to independence: 4 to 5 months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 years.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 years.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous
Male Pallas cats display no parental care. Kittens generally remain within the den for two months after birth, at which time they ‘molt’ into an adult coat and usually weigh between 500 to 600 g. When the kittens are three to four months old, they follow their mother for foraging in social mother-offspring groups. Kittens disperse between four to five months of age, by which time they have usually reached adult size and weight. Young may have large dispersal movements away from their maternal dens and mature quickly, they become reproductively viable within their first year.
Parental Investment: female parental care ; pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female)
Pallas cats (Felis manul, syn. Felis manul) are listed as “Near Threatened” by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Their population is decreasing across their range, the population in the western part of their range around the Caspian Sea is likely extirpated. They are widespread but uncommon across the Tibetan Plateau and are rare and uncommon in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region and Turkmenistan. The Russian regions of Tyva and Chita hold the largest populations in Russia, while Mongolia appears to be the species ‘stronghold’, as they are widely distributed, but still declining across most of the country.
The major threats facing this species include declining prey bases, habitat degradation from economic expansion and direct threats posed by humans and their dogs. There have been long-term and effective vermin control programs for pikas and marmots, implemented on a large scale across central Asia. This poses a direct threat to the survival of Pallas cats. Not only do pikas represent their primary food source, but marmots' dens are an essential habitat requirement and are used extensively by Pallas cats, especially throughout the cold winter months. A decrease in either of these prey or den building species will likely have a serious impact on the populations of Pallas cats in the wild. Furthermore, habitat degradation from agriculture and mining exploration is occurring on a wide scale in Mongolia and Russia, which may lead to a further reduction in suitable rocky habitat for these cats and contribute to further fragmentation of their suitable habitat. Finally, although their furs are of relatively little economic value, even in Mongolia, Pallas cats are still occasionally shot by nomadic hunters or, more often, trapped accidentally in leg traps set for marmots, foxes and wolves.
The lack of knowledge of the ecology, reproductive strategies and population dynamics of this species makes long-term conservation efforts extremely difficult. While Pallas cats are known to occur within protected areas and wildlife and nature reserves in Mongolia, China and Russia, it is estimated that the steppe-grassland biome is the least protected of all major biomes in the world, when this is coupled with their large home ranges and patchy distributions, the effectiveness of these reserves in preserving a viable population, remains to be seen.
CITES: appendix ii
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: near threatened
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 2002Near Threatened
- 1996Lower Risk/least concern(Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
- 1994Insufficiently Known(Groombridge 1994)
Across the Tibetan plateau, Pallas's cat is considered widespread but nowhere very common (Nowell and Jackson 1996). The species is considered rare and uncommon in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (Ladakh) and Iran (Nowell and Jackson 1996, Habibi 2004), and has disappeared from much of its former range around the Caspian Sea (Belousova 1993) and Pakistan's Balochistan province (Husain 2001). Populations are small and threatened in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia's Krasnoyarsk region and Turkmenistan (Anon. 2008).
In Russia, the Tyva and Chita regions may have the largest populations, estimated at 2,000-2,200 and 2,100-3,000, respectively. Populations in Altai and Buryatia republics were estimated at 450-550 and 250-350 (Barashkova et al. 2007).
The manul has long been hunted for its fur in relatively large numbers in Mongolia, Russia and China, although international trade in manul pelts has largely ceased since the late 1980s (Nowell and Jackson 1996). Mongolia is the only range state which permits hunting of Pallas cats for "household purposes." The permitting system is ineffective, and Pallas cat furs are illegally exported to China (Murdoch et al. 2006). Wingard and Zahler (2006) estimate that there are approximately 1,000 hunters of Pallas's cats in Mongolia, with a mean estimated harvest of two cats per year. Pallas cats are also shot because they can be mistaken for marmots, which are commonly hunted, and trapped incidentally in leghold traps set for wolves and foxes and snares set for marmot and hares (S. Ross pers. comm. 2008) Their fat and organs are used as medicine in Mongolia and Russia, and they are killed by domestic dogs (IUCN Cats Red List workshop, 2007 and A. Barashkova pers. comm. 2008).
Approximately 12% of the species' range in Mongolia occurs within protected areas (Mongolia Mammal Assessment, 2006), although Murdoch et al. (2007) found that the manul's preferred steppe-shrub habitat was under-represented in an important protected area in central Mongolia (the Ikh Nartiin Chuluun Nature Reserve), and that illegal hunting inside the protected area was frequent.
In Russia, about 6% of the species' range is protected, as follows: about 1% of it is situated the state nature reserves: "Altaisky" (Altai Republic), "Sayano-Shushensky" (Krasnoyarsk region), "Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina" (Tyva Republic), "Daursky" and "Sokhodinsky" (Chita RegionHowever, only the Tyvan and Daursky state reserv protect significant habitat. About 4% of Pallas' Cat area is situated in the national parks: "Tunkinsky" (Buryatia Republic) and "Alkhanai" (Aginsky Buryatsky autonomus region, which will belong to Chita Region soon). About 0.5% of area is situated in federal wildlife refuges: "Altacheisky" (Buryatia Republic) and partly "Tsasucheisky Bor" (Chita Region). Buryatia Republic also has regional protected areas where llas cats are found (Barashkova et al. 2007).
In China it is reported from the following nature reserves: Xuelingyunshan, Tuomuerfeng, Luoshan, Baijitan, Qinghaihuniaodao, Wanglang. Wolong, Zhumulangmafeng, Kalamailishan, Qitaihuangmobanhuangmo, Aerjinshan, Ganjiahu (Xinjiang), Luobupoyeluotuo (China Species Information Service 2008).
Since 2009 this species is now a legally protected species in Afghanistan, banning all hunting and trade in its parts within the country.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
There are negligible negative effects to humans caused by Pallas cats.
Pallas cats have little economic importance to humans. Their furs are not valuable in today’s market, and international trade in their pelts has largely ceased since the 1980’s. Mongolia still permits hunting for ‘household purposes’; however, the permitting system is ineffective and furs are likely still illegally exported to China. Their fat and organs are still used as medicines in nomadic Mongolia and Russia and domestic dogs from nomad camps in Mongolia hunt them. Pallas cats have a negligible effect on agriculture, public health and wildlife management. It is possible that Pallas cats may provide a pest-control benefit for agriculture through their hunting of pikas and small rodents, which are the target of wide-spread and common pest control programs throughout central Asia.
Positive Impacts: body parts are source of valuable material; controls pest population
The Pallas's cat (Otocolobus manul), also called manul, is a small wild cat with a broad but fragmented distribution in the grasslands and montane steppes of Central Asia. It is negatively affected by habitat degradation, prey base decline, and hunting, and has therefore been classified as Near Threatened by IUCN since 2002.
The Pallas's cat is about the size of a domestic cat, its body is 46 to 65 cm (18 to 26 in) long and its tail is 21 to 31 cm (8.3 to 12.2 in) long. It weighs 2.5 to 4.5 kg (5.5 to 9.9 lb). The combination of its stocky posture and long, dense fur makes it appear stout and plush. Its fur is ochre with dark vertical bars on the torso and forelegs. The winter coat is greyer and less patterned than the summer coat. There are clear black rings on the tail and dark spots on the forehead. The cheeks are white with narrow black stripes running from the corners of the eyes. The chin and throat are also white, merging into the greyish, silky fur of the underparts. Concentric white and black rims around the eyes accentuate their rounded shape. The legs are proportionately shorter than those of other cats, the ears are set very low and wide apart, and it has unusually short claws. The face is shortened compared with other cats, giving it a flattened face. The pupils are circular. The shorter jaw has fewer teeth than is typical among cats, with the first pair of upper premolars missing, but the canine teeth are large.
Distribution and habitat
Pallas's cats are native to the steppe regions of Central Asia, where they inhabit elevations of up to 5,050 m (16,570 ft) in the Tibetan Plateau. They inhabit Mongolia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kashmir, and occur across much of western China. They also are found in the Transbaikal regions of Russia, and less frequently, in the Altai, Tyva, and Buryatia Republics. In 1997, they were reported for the first time as being present in the eastern Sayan Mountains.
Until the early 1970s, only two Pallas's cats were recorded in the Transcaucasus, both encountered near the Araks River in northwestern Iran, but no records existed from Azerbaijan. Populations in the Caspian Sea region, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, are thought to be declining and becoming increasingly isolated.
In recent years, several Pallas' cats were photographed for the first time during camera trapping surveys:
- in Iran's Khojir National Park in 2008;
- in the Eastern Himalayas: in Bhutan's Wangchuck Centennial Park in April 2012; and above 4,100 m (13,500 ft) in the Jigme Dorji National Park in autumn 2012;
- in Pakistan's Qurumber National Park above 3,400 m (11,200 ft) in July 2012;
- in Nepal's Annapurna Conservation Area above 4,200 m (13,800 ft) in December 2012 and December 2013.
Distribution of subspecies
Three subspecies are recognized:
- O. m. manul (Pallas, 1776) — inhabits the northern part of the range: from Jida River south of Lake Baikal to eastern Siberia;
- O. m. nigripecta (Hodgson, 1842) — inhabits Tibet and Indian Kashmir;
- O. m. ferruginea (Ognev, 1928) — inhabits the south-western part of the range: the mountain ridge of Missanev, Kopet-Dag Mountains, Transcaspia, south-western Turkestan, northern Iran, Baluchistan and Afghanistan.
Ecology and behaviour
Pallas's cats are solitary. Both males and females scent mark their territory. They spend the day in caves, rock crevices, or marmot burrows, and emerge in the late afternoon to begin hunting. They are not fast runners, and hunt primarily by ambush or stalking, using low vegetation and rocky terrain for cover. They feed largely on diurnally active prey species such as gerbils, pikas, voles and chukar partridges, and sometimes catch young marmots.
The breeding season is relatively short due to the extreme climate in the cat's native range. Oestrus lasts between 26 and 42 hours, which is also shorter than in many other felids. Pallas's cats give birth to a litter of around two to six kittens after a gestation period of 66 to 75 days, typically in April or May. Such large litters may compensate for a high rate of infant mortality in the harsh environment. The young are born in sheltered dens, lined with dried vegetation, feathers, and fur. The kittens weigh around 90 g (3.2 oz) at birth, and have a thick coat of fuzzy fur, which is replaced by the adult coat after around two months. They are able to begin hunting at four months, and reach adult size at six months. Pallas's cats have been reported to live up to 11 years in captivity.
The manul has long been hunted for its fur in relatively large numbers in China, Mongolia, and Russia, although international trade in manul pelts has largely ceased since the late 1980s. About 1,000 hunters of Pallas's cats are in Mongolia, with a mean estimated harvest of two cats per year. Cats are also shot because they can be mistaken for marmots, which are commonly hunted, and trapped incidentally in leghold traps set for wolves and foxes and snares set for marmots and hares. They are also killed by domestic dogs. The fat and organs of the cats are used as medicine in Mongolia and Russia. While Mongolia has not recorded any trophy exports, skin exports have grown since 2000, with 143 reported exported in 2007.
Otocolobus manul is listed in CITES Appendix II. Hunting of this felid is prohibited in all range countries except Mongolia, where it has no legal protection despite being classified as Near Threatened in the country. Since 2009, the felid is legally protected in Afghanistan, banning all hunting and trade in its parts within the country and is listed as an endangered species in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
In 2010, there were 47 Pallas’s cats in 19 institutions that are members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and four litters were expected. No births and three deaths occurred in 2009. Pallas’s cats have the highest percentage of 30-day mortality of any small cat at 44.9%. The seasonality of their reproduction makes it difficult to control reproductive cycles. Keeping Pallas's cats healthy in captivity is difficult. They breed well, but survival rates are low owing to infections, which are attributed to an underdeveloped immune system. In their natural high-altitude habitat, they would normally not be exposed to viruses causing infection.
In June 2010, five kittens were born in the Red River Zoo in Fargo. A female was artificially inseminated for the first time at Cincinnati Zoo, and gave birth to three kittens in June 2011. In May 2013, three kittens were born in the Nordens Ark in Sweden.
The Pallas's cat initially was placed in the genus Felis. In 1858, the Russian explorer and naturalist Nikolai Severtzov proposed the name Otocolobus for the species. The zoologist Reginald Innes Pocock recognized the taxonomic classification of Otocolobus in 1907, described several skulls in detail, and considered the manul being an aberrant form of Felis.
Following genetic studies, the monotypic genus Otocolobus has been proposed to be placed with the genera Felis and Prionailurus in the tribe Felini, because of a close phylogenetic relationship. Otocolobus manul is estimated to have diverged from a leopard cat ancestor about 5.19 million years ago.
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- Associated Press (August 2010). "ND zoo officials boast litter of 5 Pallas kitten". WDAY News.
- CREW (June 2011). "Pallas' cats born from artificial insemination". Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife.
- Bohusläningen (June 2013). "pallaskatterna har fått ungar". Bohusläningen.
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- Johnson, W., Eizirik, E., Pecon-Slattery, J., Murphy, W. J., Antunes, A., Teeling, E., O'Brien, S. J. (2006). "The Late Miocene Radiation of Modern Felidae: A Genetic Assessment". Science 311 (5757): 73–77. doi:10.1126/science.1122277. PMID 16400146.
- O'Brien, S. J., Johnson, W. E. (2007). The evolution of cats. Scientific American July: 68–75.
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|Wikispecies has information related to: Pallas's cat|
- IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group: Pallas's cat Otocolobus manul
- Pallas' Cat Working Group
- Pallas' Cat Study and Conservation Program
- The Pallas's Cat at the Indian Tiger Welfare Society
- news.yahoo.com : Sneaky Cat Caught on Camera in Himalayas
- About Pallas's cats
- Facebook: Short video of a Pallas' cat being chased, caught and radio-collared by researchers