New population of rare cats found in China national park

XINING, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Eighteen infrared cameras have recently captured 13 images of Chinese desert cats in Qilian Mountain National Park in northwest China's Qinghai Province, according to the park's local administration.

Researchers also spotted the wild cats seven times, collected 133 feces samples, and found three dead bodies of the cats during a one-month survey on the vulnerable cat species, which are under top state protection.

"For a long time, Chinese desert cats could hardly be spotted due to its secretive nature and small population size, so the recent frequent discoveries indicate that the Qilian Mountain National Park's Qinghai section is a major habitat for the cats," said Liu Yanlin, a researcher from the survey team.

The survey, lasting over 30 days since May 16, was carried out by the Peking University and the Qinghai section of the national park, covering an area of 3,000 square km.

"The research will be conducive to the study and protection of the cats," said Yan Pinfa, also a member of the research team.

The 50,200-square-km Qilian Mountain National Park, one of the pilot national parks, includes 34,400 square km in Gansu Province, and 15,800 square km in Qinghai. Enditem