Sand Cats are the only types of felines that are able to survive the arid, hot and dry weather of deserts. They live in the deserts of Mauritania, Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, Israel, Yemen, Iran, Pakistan, Niger, Egypt and the Western Sahara. Sand Cats are able to endure temperatures ranging from -5 to 52 Celsius through finding shelter in burrows or under rocks in the most intense heat.
Unfortunately, the sand cat’s habitat is under attack from the actions of man. The desert eco-system is vulnerable and is being rapidly degraded by human development and activity. Livestock grazing can be especially detrimental, as it destroys any nutrients that might exist in the earth along with the vegetation consumed. The sand cat’s small mammal prey base depends on having sufficient vegetation, and experiences fluctuations due to drought and desertification.
Regarding the threats and problems that are taking place, FoEME is currently working on combating desertification in the Middle East in order to halt habitat degradation and desertification. FoEME’s projects raise awareness among people to use less water in farms, garden and homes, with the hope of making the Middle East a more eco-friendly place for the sand cat and many other animals that are endangered and living under threats.
This post was written by FoEME student intern Hashem Al- Zubidi. Hashem is 16 years old, and currently attends the Amman Academy.