(PICA Small Grant Programme)
University of Chitral, Snow Leopard Foundation Pakistan
2021 – 2022
Investigate status, distribution and conservation challenges for Pallas’s cat in Chitral.
Pallas’s Cat (Otocolobus manul) current extent of occurrence is restricted to north and northwest of Pakistan. Contemporary records confirmed the presence of the cat in the Hindu Kush and Hindu Raj mountains. Two of the three (3) confirmed (C1) occurrence reported from Golain and Broghil Valleys in Chitral. The low population density, patchy distribution and limited information about its occurrence underscore research and surveys in the region. The project will investigate status, distribution and conservation challenges in District Chitral (Lower) KP, Pakistan. Focal group interview/questionnaire, camera traps and snow tracking will be employed to uncover the distributional record and confirm its occurrence from different valleys of District Chitral.
Potential habitats of Pallas’s cat will be identified through focal group interview, marked on map as C3 information, snow tracking will be done to identify and specify the areas and camera traps will be set at appropriate locations to gather data. Existing threats of ranging dogs and poisoning by human as major threats identified in Global Conservation Strategy to the cat in the region, will be investigated. The project will also train two undergraduate students and wildlife field staffs in basic ecology of Pallas’s cat, survey techniques and field methods.