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Asiatic wild cat (Felis silvestris ornata) is no more a ‘Least Concern’ species in Xinjiang, China

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Title: Asiatic wild cat (Felis silvestris ornata) is no more a ‘Least Concern’ species in Xinjiang, China
Authors: Abdukadir, Ablimit Browse this author
Khan, Babar Browse this author
Masuda, Ryuichi Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Ohdachi, Satoshi Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: Asiatic wild cat
phenotypic characters
spotted steppe cat
Tarim river
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Pakistan Wildlife Foundation
Journal Title: Pakistan Journal of Wildlife
Volume: 1
Issue: 2
Start Page: 57
End Page: 63
Abstract: Asiatic wild cat, Felis silvestris ornata, once regarded as least concern is declining rapidly in its natural habitat in the Xinjiang desert region of China mainly because of excessive hunting for pelt trade followed by shrinkage of its habitat due to cultivation, oil and gas exploration and excessive use of pesticides. Prior to 1950, it was the most abundant felid in Xingjian dwelling along all major river basin systems and Taklimakan desert but later it got confined to three regions of southern Xinjiang only viz., Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Oblast, Aksu and Hotan. Despite several expeditions, correct distribution and status of this illusive cat was unknown. This review article is an update on current status, distribution, ecological behavior, conservation and habitat characteristics of Asiatic wild cat in Xinjiang arid region of China. Specimen collected from various parts of Xinjiang exhibit varied phenotypic characters. It has protruding morphological features like many other desert animals. It has dense and soft hairs on the forelimb pads like other felids but rarely behaves nocturnally, adjusting its movement with seasonal variation and food availability. Tarim hare, Lepus yarkandensis, is the primary source of food followed by gerbil, jerboa, birds, fish and lizards. Literature and the statistics both reveal that it’s remnant population is declining fast limiting it to only a few fragmented habitats in the lower reaches of Hotan, Yarkand, Tarim, Qarqan, Niya and Keriya river basins, rendering it no more a least concern species at least in China. Therefore, adequate policy decisions and concrete conservation actions are required to halt and eventually reverse the declining population of the cat and its deteriorating habitat in Xinjiang.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:低温科学研究所 (Institute of Low Temperature Science) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 大舘 智志

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