Images of the small wild cat known as Pallas’s Cat was recorded through a camera trap installed in the northern reaches of Annapurna Area Conservation Project (ACAP) to monitor the movement of snow leopards.
According to conservation activists, this is the first time that the animal with Near Threatened (NT) conservation status in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has been found in Nepal.
The animal was tracked twice at Aangumie Lapchay( 4,600 meters) and Praken ( 4,200meters) inside the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) in the district in December last year.
According to Wikipedia, Pallas’s cat was named after the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas, who first described the species in 1776 under the binomial Felis manul.
“The cameras installed for the monitoring of the snow leopards tracked a new species of cat which was unknown to Nepali conservationists,” ACAP officials told a press meet in Kathmandu.
After a new species was recorded in the camera, ACAP had asked Angie Appel of Germany, Karna Shah of Nepal and Jim Sanderson of the US to carry out the study the on the newly found species. The team later confirmed the new animal to be Pallas’s cat.
The new cat species are approximately the same size and shape of domestic cat and can weigh p to 4 kg. They prey on insects and rodents.
Pallas’s cat has also been recorded in Khojir National Park of Iran and Wangchuck Centennial Park of Bhutan.