Image of a snow leopard captured by an infrared camera at the area of the source of Lancang River in Nangqian county, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, northwest China’s Qinghai Province. (Photo courtesy of Shan Shui Conservation Center)
An infrared camera recently caught images of a leopard capturing prey for the first time at the source of Lancang River in Nangqian county, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, northwest China’s Qinghai Province.
The footage shows an adult leopard on alert and two cubs, one of whom was eating. The images indicate that there is a complete ecosystem in the area, said Zhao Xiang, head of the Sanjiangyuan Project of the Shan Shui Conservation Center.
The leopard is a Class A protected animal in China. According to preliminary estimations, the suitable habitat for leopards at Sanjiangyuan, an area that is the source of China’s three most important rivers, is over 1,500 square kilometers in size, Zhao said, adding that the region has some of the highest altitudes home to leopards.
The footage is of great significance for the research and protection of leopards in the area, which is a corridor for promoting biodiversity conservation, said Xiao Lingyun from Peking University Center for Nature and Society.