HOME Pallas Cat Study and Conservation Program

P.O. Box 547, Novosibirsk
Russia, 630090


Last updated:
March 21, 2017


Study maternal behavior of Pallas' cat in wild Current





The goal: to obtain data on maternal behaviour of Pallas' cat in wild.

Research team: Alina Baranova
Aldar Dambain
Dmitry Stafeev
Sergey Pakhomov
Anna Barashkova
Project Head 2009: Alina Baranova (BS, Saint-Petersburg State University)
Project Head 2010: Aldar Dambain (3d year student, Zabaikalsky State Humanitarian-Pedagogical University)
Advisers: Vadim Kiriliuk (Daursky State Nature Biosphere Reserve)
Anna Barashkova (NGO Siberian Environmental Center)
Duration of project: May 1, 2009 - December 31, 2010
Regions involved: Zabaikalsky Krai (Daursky Reserve)


The project is supported partly by the Youth Activity Fund of the Explorers' Club (UK).

About problem and methods

The project contributes to the third statement of the program - "to know more Pallas' Cat biology in aspects determined its sensitiveness to anthropogenic factors and adaptation to life in populated landscape". The researches on Pallas' cat behaviour and ecology have been conducted to a variable degree in several zoos, for example in Moscow and Leningrad zoos in Russia (Alexeicheva, 2003, 2006; Baranova, pers. comm.). However similar research should be done in wild too. Usually investigators studied Pallas' cat density and distribution in wild (Kiriliuk, 1997; Barashkova, 2006, 2007). This data is very important to understand the general situation with this species, but it's not enough for species conservation status understanding. The complementary study should be investigating Pallas' cat's nutrition, home range, and mutual relations. Some research on Pallas' cat nutrition was conducted in Chita region (Kiriliuk, 1999) and Mongolia (S. Ross and J. Murdock, pers. comm.; Munkhtsog, 2005). They also studied Pallas' cat home range using radio-telemetry methods, but they almost haven't obtain data on Pallas' cat behaviour.

We consider that one of important matters of cat ecology is the maternal behaviour. Nobody do it on Pallas' cats specially before in wild. There is some data on maternal behaviour obtained in zoos (Shilo, 2006; Demina, 2006, etc). Unlike in zoos during research in wild it is important both to understand relations between mother and kittens and between kittens and to determine possible threats to Pallas' cats during the breeding as well as to study how maternal behaviour favors kittens' survival.

Methods of our research depend on Pallas' cat peculiarities. It is a very careful and secretive species. As the female can leave the den with kittens while anxiety (data of officials of Daurskiy state nature reserve) it is necessary to use relatively remote equipment and minimum action near the den. Using standard behaviour sampling methods we'll use video cameras with digital card in order to change it quickly, spotting scope and radio telemetry.

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