New Delhi: Chinese researchers have captured photos of the endangered amur leopard from a forest in northeast China’s Jilin Province for the first time since 1949.
The amur leopard, one of the world’s most endangered large cats, has been spotted in a forest in the province’s Yanbian prefecture, said Sun Ge, a doctoral candidate at Peking University, who captured the images of the animal using automatic infrared cameras.
According to English.news.cn, Sun and his assistant set up 40 of the cameras three months ago, returning to collect photos every twenty days.
One of the cameras managed to capture the animal on Sept. 19 in Wangqing County, which borders Russia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
China’s frontier guard troop previously took pictures of the amur leopard on April 13 this year in the Huichun Nature Reserve in Yanbian, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The total number of amur leopards living in the wild is believed to be no more than 50 worldwide, with about ten living in China, Sun said.
The species used to be more widely distributed, but shrunk due to a lack of prey, he said, adding that environmental damage and poaching are also to blame.