Felis mardarita

Sand cat

Phylum Chordates (Chordata)
Class Mammals (Mammalia)
Order Carnivores (Carnivora)
Family Cats (Felidae)
Genus Cats (Felis)
Species Authority Loche, 1858
Summary Status: rare (Category III), its population size is very small in Kazakstan. It is distributed on the Mangyshlak Peninsula and Ustyurt Plateau and in the Kyzyl Kum Desert up to the Syr Darya River. This cat is a typical inhabitant of sandy deserts. Basic limiting factors are severe winters with considerable snow and reduced populations of prey animals which are small rodents; reptiles and birds are of lesser importance. It lives in burrows, sometimes occupying those abandoned by foxes and porcupines. There are no data on captive breeding. It is protected in the Ustyurt Nature Reserve and Aktau-Buzachi Preserve, but it is necessary to establish a Kyzyl Kum Nature Reserve and to carry out research on the current status of sand cat's population in the northern Kyzyl Kum Desert.

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