Felis Margarita thinobia
Species name: Sand Cat
Scientific name: Felis Margarita thinobia
Locally known as: Hirr
Description: The sand cat is the only cat species that lives mostly in desert environments. Its fur is of a pale, sandy, light brownish-yellow colour.
IUCN status: Least Concern
Key threats: Residential and commercial development, biological resource use, human pressures, habitat loss and cross breeding with domestic cats.
Where they're found today: Sandy desert regions across Africa, Central Asia and the Arabian Peninsula.
Abu Dhabi’s efforts: EAD runs a monitoring programme for sand cats in six of our protected areas within the Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network. Since 2015, we have recorded over 90 sightings.
- They are bold hunters, and their prey often includes venomous snakes, rodents, birds, hares and insects.
- They can survive in harsh desert environments without drinking water for weeks at a time, and obtain moisture from their prey.
- They have dense hair and padding on their paws to protect against the extreme weather conditions of their habitats, and can sprint at speeds of 30-40km per hour.