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Sand cats are an extinct species of little predators that inhabited the Great Caprican Desert.
Before they became extinct, they had recovered from their endangerment thanks to the efforts of wildlife conservationists. However, an unnamed lung parasite killed off the entire race, due to a genetic weakness that was inherent in the small genetic pool from whence the sand cats were recreated.
Laura Roslin brings up the sand cats in order to convince William Adama that they may need the Returner's diverse genetic material in order to survive, provided that they are not Cylons (RDM) (Battlestar Galactica 2).