Rare mouse-deer sighted in China

Beijing: Chinese zoologists have sighted a number of rare species including a mouse-deer during field research in China’s Yunnan province.

Feng Limin of the Chinese Felid Conservation Alliance said his team had observed 23 rare species, including the Williamson’s mouse-deer (Tragulus williamsoni) and the Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii).

Some have not been seen in the area for decades, he said. The field research, which started last year, covers the natural forests of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The mouse-deer, an endangered species enjoys China’s highest level of protection, was sighted at an altitude of over 1,000 meters.

The animal usually lives in areas above 600 meters. “Drastic changes have had great impact on the environment in Xishuangbanna, so we are quite happy to find so many species in the area.

It also led us to believe that the food chain in the area remains relatively complete,” said Yang Hongpei, director of a Xishuangbanna nature reserve.

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