Endangered cloudy leopards spotted in Tibet (southwest China)


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A biodiversity study at Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Nature Reserve in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region completed its first-year work in November, in which the rare clouded leopard ( once on the verge of extinction) has been spotted.

Supported by the State Forestry and Grassland Administration and the Tibetan Forestry and Grassland Regional Office, the first stage of the survey was carried out from October 2020 to November 2021. The China Green Foundation cooperated with the Shan Shui Conservation Center to conduct the field survey.

To collect more data on the situation of biodiversity in the region, the surveyors installed 80 infrared cameras in 6 sites at different heights of the reserve. By the end of November this year, they had recorded more than 80 species of wild animals, including 36 species of beasts and 44 species of birds. What’s worth mentioning is that the endangered nebulous leopard has been captured on cameras multiple times.

The Clouded Leopard is under state protection First Class, classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. It is known as the smallest of the big cat family, with golden yellow fur and black speckled patterns.

Other 13 rare species listed in the first class list have also appeared in the camera, such as jackals, golden cats and civets. A total of 22 secondary protected animals were spotted. The cameras also captured nine other species that had never been captured before.

The 504-kilometer-long Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon is the largest and deepest in the world, with a depth of 6,009 meters and the highest elevation at 7,782 meters. It ranks among the 34 biodiversity hotspots in the world, culminating in the diversity of ecosystems, vegetation and biological communities.

(Cover photo via CFP)

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