According to a recent discovery made by a field team of experts, there are unique wild cats living on Mount Everest.
A tiny species of wild cat named Pallas\’s cat(or \”manul\”) is one of them. This unique feline can survive in harsh climates and high altitudes, and also has many similarities to the common housecat. For scientists throughout the world, the finding is incredibly important, and it\’s also really adorable for everyone else.
Cats belonging to the Pallas, managed to evade detection until 2019. Somewhere near the Southern Flank of Mount Everest, there are at least two of them alive.
From April 7 to May 2, 2019, Dr. Tracie Seimon, member of the Wildlife Conservation Society\’s Bronx Zoo\’s Zoological Health Program, collected environmental samples from two sites along Sagarmatha National Park on Mount Everest\’s southern flank at elevations of 5,110 and 5,190 meters. The expers collected the samples at intervals of 6 km.
The discovery of this exceptional and uncommon species at this height is extraordinary, according to Dr. Seimon. \”Our team and the greater scientific community received enormous rewards from the roughly four-week excursion. Pallas\’s cat was found on Everest, expanding the species\’ known range into eastern Nepal. This fact illuminates the remarkable biodiversity of this inaccessible habitat.
A DNA test on scat samples taken from both locations revealed that two Pallas\’ cats live on Mount Everest and share territory with red fox. An major source of food for Pallas\’s cat, the mountain weasel and pika DNA was discovered by the researchers in the samples. These discoveries significantly increase the number of known mammal species in Sagarmatha National Park, a popular and protected World Heritage site.
A Unique Discovery On Mount Everest
\”This is a unique discovery not only in terms of science but also conservation,\” said Dr. Anton Seimon, a National Geographic Explorer. \”This population of Pallas\’s cat is legally protected under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). We anticipate that the discovery of this new charismatic species will increase knowledge of the variety of species present at this renowned World Heritage Site.
From a few thousand in the 1970s to over 50,000 in 2019, the number of visitors visiting Sagarmatha National Park and Mount Everest has been rising drastically. The fact that these rare wild cats weren\’t discovered in this park until 2019 is noteworthy, and the current work exemplifies how conservation genetics and environmental sampling may be used as a potent method for finding and studying cryptic and elusive species like Pallas\’s cat.
A greater understanding of the Pallas\’s cat population, range, density, and diet in Sagarmatha National Park might be achieved by future research that combines camera trap surveys with the collecting of more scat samples.
Initial report of a Pallas\’s cat was published in the Sagarmatha National Park in the Mount Everest region of Nepal in December 2022, according to T. A. Seimon, M. Lim, B. Nightingale, S. Elvin, A. Elmore, and A. Seimon.