Trip Report: Kazakhstan, 2009

A big thank you to Venkat Sankar for spotting this interesting and detailed report.

Their picture of a “Sand Cat” seems more likely an Asiatic Wild Cat, though they recorded 10 Sand Cats so may well have seen both species.

Kazakhstan, 2009: Arnaud Le Nevé,  2.5 months & 15 mammals including Caracal, Brandt’s Hedgehog, Argali, Saiga and Caspian Seals.



  • Anna

    Yes, it is an Asiatic wild cat. And it is pity that there is only one photo. Actually the sand cat is quite rare in the area which was visited (Fetisovo plateau), moreover there are no modern data from it (as I know). The Asiatic wild cat is most probable in all 10 cases.
    On the whole there is qiute little recent data on Sand cat findings in Kazakhstan. That’s why confirmed observations of this species are very important.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Also, it is possible that the hedgehogs were long-eared (Hemiechinus auritus), since Brant’s aren’t supposed to occur that far north. And the wolves on the photo look a bit like golden jackals, although it’s difficult to be sure at that image size and the wolf is actually more likely in such an open habitat.

    • Venkat Sankar

      Good point on the hedgehog. I was actually thinking the same thing regarding the “wolves,” but the interesting thing is Golden Jackal has never been recorded anywhere near that area if you look at published information. So it would be interesting to visit the area and try to find them. I assume there are lots of jerboas and other stuff there as well?

      Also, I think their “Argali” is a Urial (ssp. arkal) but those two species (or whatever they are) seem to be in a perpetual state of taxonomic confusion that nobody understands.

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