Researchers have recently discovered the existence of a unique and reclusive wildcat on Mount Everest, known as Pallas’s cat or manul. These stocky gray felines are roughly the same size as domestic housecats and typically inhabit the high steppes and grasslands of Central Asia. Due to their solitary nature and remote living environment, humans have rarely had the opportunity to spot these remarkable creatures in the wild. Scientists have deemed the discovery of the Pallas’s cat on Mount Everest as both rare and remarkable.
Researchers have made an exciting discovery, confirming the existence of a rare wildcat species on Mount Everest. The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Zoological Health Program co-leader, Dr. Tracie Seimon, expressed amazement at finding evidence of this elusive and distinctive-looking species at such an altitude. The team collected environmental samples (aka feces) from two separate spots on Everest’s slopes, one at 16,765 feet and the other at 17,027 feet above sea level. DNA testing confirmed that the scat belonged to Pallas’s cats. The researchers collected the samples in 2019, with their findings published in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “Cat News” newsletter in winter 2022.
Dr. Tracie Seimon expressed her amazement at the discovery of evidence of a rare species at the top of the world. The Pallas’s cat on Mount Everest highlights the diverse range of life forms that exist in this remote and high-alpine region of the world, extending the known range of the species to eastern Nepal. Although Pallas’s cats are not as popular as some other members of the feline family, like the snow leopard, they have gained a following on the internet due to their distinct appearance and seemingly grumpy demeanor. Paige Byerly, a conservation biology researcher and Pallas’s cat enthusiast, celebrated the news on Twitter with an appropriate statement.
“She expressed that the thought of a Pallas’s cat gazing disdainfully at wealthy mountaineers from its hiding place behind a boulder fills her with joy,” was her comment.