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Save the world's fluffiest cat

By Kate Baklitskaya
19 December 2012

Concern is growing over poaching of the 'secretive' manul wild cat - also known as Pallas's Cat.

Manul's fur in the most fluffy and thick among the cat family with about 9,000 hairs per square cm. Picture: lifeglobe.net

Related millions of years ago to the leopard, this majestic cat is a native of Siberia though suffers from being less famous than some of its cousins. 

'The measures that are applied to poachers now are not strict enough' warned Vladimir Krever, WWF coordinator on biological development. 

'We don't have exact statistics on manual poaching but we know that it takes place. 

'The exact number of the species is unknown because of the secretive behaviour of manul and the patchiness of its distribution. 

'Daurovsky Reservation (in Chita region) is the only one in Russia that is located in the area of the manul's habitat - and where the animal is studied.' 

Manul the world's fluffiest cat

Related millions of years ago to the leopard, this majestic cat is a native of Siberia. Picture: lifeglobe.net

The rare cat is listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature where it has the status of 'near threatened'. The cat is known for its  awesome look. 

Among poachers, though, it is famous for other qualities, notably its thick and warm fur.  

The Pallas's cat's fur in the most fluffy and thick among the cat family with about 9,000 hairs per square centimetre, which can reach a length of 7 cm.

The negative impact of hunting and the decline of  numbers of the wild cat  led to an expression of concern by IUCN.

Manul hunting is forbidden in Russia - but sadly this does not stop  hunters for this rare fur.

According to WWF Russia and the TRAFFIC programme, the sale of fur mittens made from manul fur is not unknown in Vladivostok. 

Manul the world's fluffiest cat

Still on offer: mittens made from manul's fur.  Picture: WWF Russia 

In 2009 a store owner was fined 15,000 roubles ($500). This is one of the rare cases when manul poaching got to the court and a fine was imposed. 

It is hoped the manul will be more protected by proposed new legislation. The wild cat has a broad but patchy distribution in the grasslands and steppes of Central Asia and southern Siberia.

Comments (5)

This terrible poaching must stop! Save these gorgeous animals!
Giana Peranio Paz, Haifa Israel
08/08/2013 16:24
1
These are beautiful creatures. They shouldn't be killed for vanity
Cynthia Strousberg, Panama City Beach Fl USA
08/08/2013 09:48
0
The paper is not accurate in many details. Actually manul fur trading is not common in Russia (unlike Mongolia). Russian NGO Siberian Environmental Center has special program on the Pallas' Cat. It is monitoring fur trade since 2005 and only one case was found - just that one which referred in the paper. Other mistake: Daursky (not "Daurovsky") Strict Nature Reserve is not the only one in Russia which is located in the area of the manul's range. At least there is also Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina Reserve and Sailuguem National Park (as well as some other parks and several nature refuges).

Try http://savemanul.org/eng/ for all news and more facts on the Pallas' Cat conservation in Siberia and Central Asia.
Sibecocenter, Novosibirsk, Russia
07/08/2013 01:07
2
This is a shame and these truly beautiful animals need to be PROTECTED at all costs because once they are gone--THEY ARE GONE FOR GOOD!
Neila Wood, Carlisle, Kentucky USA
06/08/2013 22:49
2
Can you please get me one of these as a pet? Inform me of the price
Gaylord, Chicago
05/01/2013 00:44
8
1

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