Wild feline pathogens in the Arabian Peninsula: A review

Laia M. Pardinilla, Sabir Muzaffar, Alberto Giraldez, Jane A. Budd, Ahmad Al Aiyan, Moneeb A. Qablan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Five species of wild felines have been reported to occur in the Arabian Peninsula: Leopards (Panthera pardus), cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), caracals (Caracal caracal), sand cats (Felis margarita) and wildcats (Felis silvestris). Leopards and cheetahs are categorised as critically endangered and regionally extinct, respectively. In addition, the populations of caracals, sand cats and wildcats are rapidly declining. Captive breeding efforts have been successful at several regional institutions and play a major role in reintroduction programmes. Thus, in this review, we searched and summarised all relevant literature published up to October 2023 on the pathogens of these five feline species in the Arabian Peninsula, both ex situ and in situ. In total, only 14 studies were found. Studies on pathogens of these animals within the region are scarce and do not reflect the seriousness of the conservation status of the animals. Furthermore, the published literature is scattered, and no systemic approach has been followed. This situation should be reconsidered, and the overall health of these felines, both captive and wild, should be regularly monitored. Research should be directed toward assessing the potential pathogens circulating amongst captive and wild feline populations to avoid an undesirable impact on any reintroduction effort.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126576
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Animal conservation
  • Feline
  • Leishmania
  • Pathogen
  • Rabies
  • Salmonella

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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