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Pallas's cat research

Pallas's cat research

Project background

As holders of the Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul) European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) and the International Studbook (ISB) the RZSS has, and continues to play a key role in the global population management of the species. As a species that is largely understudied across range countries the RZSS teamed up with Nordens Ark (Sweden) and the Snow Leopard Trust (USA) to establish the first global conservation project for the species – Pallas’s cat International Conservation Alliance (PICA).

The main aim of PICA is to increase conservation efforts for Pallas’s cats across range countries and work with the wider Pallas’s cat community, both in-situ and ex-situ, to develop the “one plan approach” through a global conservation Action Plan. PICA continues to, develop structured surveys, animal databases, education materials and practical field skills for students and researchers that are important for developing field work. These actions will also be used in conjunction with the global species Action Plan where we aim to create a consistent framework for future research and conservation efforts that will be implemented in knowledge-based conservation plans.

This project will provide new information on the distribution, ecology and threats of Pallas’s cats and develop the first-ever conservation Action Plan for the species.

Another key aim for PICA is connecting the conservation and research efforts between ex-situ and in-situ, highlighting the positive impact Zoological collections can have on species and habitat conservation. PICA achieves this by utilising the existing communications network we have through the North American (AZA), European (EAZA), Russian (EARAZA) and Japanese (JAZA) breeding programmes, continuing to raise the profile of the species throughout zoological collections and by creating a 3600 conservation approach between zoos and in-situ field teams. Funding from zoological collections will not only support our existing goals but allow for continued support of Pallas’s cat researchers working across range countries. 

Project Aims

  • Improve knowledge of distribution and improve monitoring techniques for the species.
  • Increase knowledge on basic ecology of the Pallas’s cat in order to create targeted conservation plans.
  • Raise awareness and conservation capacity for Pallas’s cats and their prey both locally and globally through communication and awareness initiatives.
  • Designing strategies for a global conservation plan of the Pallas’s cat.

For more information about the project and to support the action, visit www.pallascats.org              

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