The Hermitage cats are a group of cats residing in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The museum has a press secretary dedicated to the cats, three people act as caretakers; the cats live in the museum's basement, they appear on the embankment and on the square during the summer. In previous eras they roamed throughout the museum galleries. In 2010, Maria Khaltunen, who directs the museum's cat programme, stated that there were 60 cats on the museum grounds though the staff has a joke that the museum is only supposed to have 50 cats. Irina Popovets, who became the head of the cat department, stated that the cats were "as well-known as our collections". In May 2013, the count had grown to 74 cats, of both sexes, according to Haltunen. There are kitchens for preparing their food, a small hospital; as of 2013, donations fund the presence of the cats. The cats were present in the museum a palace, since the 18th century. James Rodgers of the BBC stated that the belief is that the cats originated from Kazan, a city known for having cats good at catching mice.
The cats remained in St. Petersburg except during World War II, when the existing cat population was killed. A new group of cats replaced the previous cats. In the late 1990s, Khaltunen began a programme to care for the cats, which lived in poor conditions; as of 2007, the museum began adopting cats needing homes. In 2011, the museum began a celebration of its cat population. "Catfest" has included cat painting contests and scavenger hunts for children. Beginning in 2015, because of the number of visiting tourists, a website has been set up by the museum for people who may be interested in adopting a cat. "It is an honor to adopt a Hermitage cat", one potential cat owner was told. Other cats kept to deter mice in public buildings include: Canadian Parliamentary Cats Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, United Kingdom Tibs the Great kept by the Royal Mail in the UK; the Hermitage Museum and Maria Haltunen, The Hermitage Cats: Treasures from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Unicorn Press Limited, 5 July 2015.
Eco.mont – Journal on Protected Mountain Areas Research and Management is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal on mountain research in protected areas. The journal was established by the Alpine Network of Protected Areas, the International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the University of Innsbruck; the founding editors are Günter Köck. The journal covers research in other mountain regions. From 2015 the journal is published as open access and from 2017 it is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals; the journal is abstracted and indexed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Current Contents/Agriculture, Biology & Environmental Sciences, ERIH PLUS. Official website