LANZHOU -- A golden cat was captured by infrared cameras in the forests in Northwest China's Gansu province in early September.
This is the first time that an image of this rare animal has been captured in the Bailongjiang forest area in Gansu.
Liu Tiantai, a senior engineer with the Bailongjiang forestry protection center, said that the infrared camera captured three photos and one video of the rare animal, which is very precious.
"The photos were taken on Sept 2, and the animal in the picture had distinct features such as unique head and ears, body and black tail tip. It was identified as a golden cat, a national first-class key protected wild animal," Liu said.
The golden cat is a carnivorous mammal, living in mountain forests. Its footprints can be seen from humid evergreen forests to arid coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forests or coniferous forests at an altitude of about 3,000 meters. It is the apex carnivorous mammal in the mountain forest ecosystem, according to Liu.
Bailongjiang forest area, located in the south of Gansu, is an important water conservation forest area along the upper reaches of Yangtze River and Yellow River. The Bailongjiang forestry protection center has completed the construction of an initial wildlife protection monitoring system, with 105 infrared cameras installed.
According to monitoring data returned by these cameras in the past month, the "appearance rate" of rare wild animals such as sika deer, badger and red fox has greatly increased, which indicates that the ecological construction of the forest area is constantly improving and that biodiversity is well protected there, Liu said.