First time ever an infrared camera captured a video of the least known feline of the world, the Chinese mountain cats (Felis bieti) also called Chinese desert cat in the Sanjiangyuan region of China. They are also entitled with mysterious cat, as they are rarely seen. According to CGTN, the world’s first footage captured in Chindu County in northwest China’s Qinghai Province. Here are some interesting facts about Chinese mountain cats:
Size and Appearance – Bigger than domestic cats, weighs between 10-20 pounds and length is between 38.5-47 inches. They have sturdy build with relatively shorter legs. Vague dark horizontal stripes are on their faces and blur stripes on sides and legs & small tufts on ears. They have reddish-yellow fur with dark guard hair. Their tails are short with a black tip and couple of dark gray bands. (Read about World’s Smallest Cat )
Habitat – Chinese mountain cats are endemic to China and usually found in the territory of Quighai and Sichuan. Their limited population clearly indicates that they have adapted to the harsh climatic conditions which occur only at high altitude and seasonally. They hinder high-elevation steppe grassland, alpine shrubland & meadow and coniferous forest edges between 2,500 and 5,000 m (8,200 and 16,400 ft) elevation.
Reproduction – January to March is their mating time and offsprings usually born in May. Mountain cats can give birth to two to four litters who become independent in 7-8 months.
Hunting – Certainly they are carnivorous and remain active at night just like other cats. Although a major portion of the diet is rodent-based yet sometimes they eat small birds. (Read about World’s Deadliest cat )
Threat – As of now only 10,000 mountain cats are left in the whole world, hence they are endangered species. Poisoning of the prey base is the primary threat which unintentionally killing the cats. The local fur trade is also one of the reasons for their hunting.