Rare mouse deer seen in China

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Beijing, April 12 (IANS) A team of zoologists has seen 23 rare species, including Williamson’s mouse deer, during field research in the forests in China’s Yunnan province.

The 23 rare species seen in the forests of Xishuangbanna Dai prefecture included Williamson’s mouse deer (Tragulus williamsoni) and the Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii), Xinhua reported.

Some of the species have not been seen in the area for decades, Feng Limin of the Chinese Felid Conservation Alliance, said.

The field research, which started last year, covers the natural forests of Xishuangbanna Dai prefecture of Yunnan.

The mouse deer, an endangered species enjoying China’s highest level of protection, was sighted at an altitude of over 1,000 metres. The animal usually lives in areas above 600 metres.

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“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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