XINING, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Footage of a rare North-Chinese leopard in Tongtian River basin was captured for the first time in the northwestern province of Qinghai, according to local forestry bureau on Monday.
The images were captured by an infrared camera installed as part of a biodiversity monitoring project on the headwaters of the Yangtze river in the province's Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture late October.
Besides the North-Chinese leopard, 12 snow leopards have been spotted so far this year.
North-Chinese leopard are a Class A protected animal, and are classified as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to loss of habitat and poaching.
It is similar in size to the Amur leopard, and has darker fur than other leopard subspecies.
The new evidence extends the recorded range of North-Chinese leopards in China, indicating a good ecological local environment, according to Wen Cheng, head of a conservation center in Beijing and leader of the monitoring program.
As leopards are solitary, except for mating pairs, the consequences of habitat overlap between snow leopards and North-Chinese leopard remain to be seen, Wen added.
The monitoring program, supported by local governments and conservation centers across China, covers an area of 400 square kilometers around Tongtian River basin.
Sambar deer and wild boars have also been seen during the program.