HOME Pallas Cat Study and Conservation Program

P.O. Box 547, Novosibirsk
Russia, 630090


Last updated:
March 21, 2017



This project aims to clarify current conservation status of Pallas' Cat in Kazakhstan


Research team: Anna Barashkova
Ilya Smelansky
Andrey Tomilenko
Artem Akentiev
Project Head: Anna Barashkova
Program Coordinator
Beginning of project: May 2009
Regions involved: The Kazakhstan Upland

Project objectives

  1. to survey local people concerning Pallas cat findings and distribution
  2. to organize snow-tracking and density estimation of Pallas' Cat throughout the Kazakhstan part of the range
  3. to identify Pallas' Cat population hot spots
  4. to create the map (GIS) of Pallas' Cat distribution throughout the Kazakhstan
  5. to identify areas where Pallas' Cat was extinct during last decades


The research was supported by the Rufford Small Grants Foundation (general expenses for carrying out the research) and Mr. Thomas Murphy (Chicago) kindly donated the funds for conducting winter countings.

About the problem

There is no trustworthy data on current Pallas' cat number and distribution in Kazakhstan.

Despite the fact that the manul is well-spread in Kazahstan, its status is a concern. The current state of the species is unclear; it has been a long time since professional research and assessment was done; there are evidence of the habitat shrinking. It is possible that the population of the Pallas' Cat is diminishing, too.

At some point this species could be found as far to the west as the Caspian Sea and as far to the east as Markakol Lake, as far to the north as the Kazakhstan low hills and as far to the south as the the boundaries of the country. However, through the last decades, the number and habitat of Pallas' Cat has apparently changed dramatically. Manul cannot be found in the central part of the former habitat anymore. Now, it lives only in the narrow belt on the south and east shore of Caspian Sea, and on the east of the region.

What is in fact happening with the manul here nobody knows. The local Red List data on Pallas' Cat are largely outdated. As there are no research or assessment being done at the moment, the only way to find out something about manul is to ask people who work in the region and can possess as a rule some data about the species. Pallas' Cat is species recognized as rare and endangered but there is no precise information about its current status (Nowell, Jackson, 1996). The IUCN classifies the Pallas' Cat as near threatened due to decreasing population trends and increasing threats from hunting and habitat loss (IUCN 2000). In particular, the manul has disappeared in recent years from most of the Caspian region. The Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) lists the Pallas' Cat as an Appendix II species (UNEP-WCMC 2004).

It is not known what threatens this species.

Our project is directed to obtain up-to-date information on conservation status of Pallas' Cat population in Kazakhstan and to promote activities for its protection.


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