FINALLY: The Arabian Sand Cat Makes a Comeback!

After 10 years…

The Arabian sand cat is one of the shyest when it comes to the feline species. Their habitat is in the Arabian deserts, northern Africa and central Asia.

The Latin name of the Arabian sand cat is felis margarita harrison. They are mostly nocturnal creatures and they are adapted perfectly to the desert environment. Having extra hairs in their ears protects them from the sand going in. The hairs on their paws on the other hand protects their paws from burns, but also prevents them from leaving paw prints in the sand. They also weigh from 4 to 8 pounds when fully grown and all of this makes them very stealthy and super difficult to track.

After 10 long years, the Arabian sand cat is back!

The Arabic sand cat is considered near threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list of threatened species. In the United Arab Emirates on the other hand they are considered to be endangered. Having very little information and being unable to track them is making it very hard to even know how well they are faring.

After 10 years, the first sign of their existence has finally happened. Shakeel Ahmed and a group of scientists from the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi were the ones that made this happen.
They were leading a team that was studying the flora and fauna of Baynouna. In this protected area they set cameras with baited traps.

After months of waiting, they finally managed to capture 46 photos. With their later research they concluded that the Arabian sand cats from the photos are three individuals. Considering the fact that the photos were mostly taken during the night the cats most likely prefer lower temperature.

Hopefully all this research is going to help the scientists to be able to make plans on how to protect the sand cats and their habitat.

New Scientist

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