At least five leopard cats have been spotted at OCT Wetland Park in Shenzhen so far, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported Thursday.
The park first found traces of leopard cat feces last December. Subsequently, infrared cameras were installed to monitor the park, and the first leopard cat was spotted Dec. 28. On Jan. 12, 2019, another leopard cat and three cubs were seen in the park.
According to the city’s ecology environment bureau, leopard cats are listed as vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Leopard cats have been found on Wutong Mountain, Maluan Mountain, Qiniang Mountain, Tanglang Mountain and in Shenzhen’s mangrove forests.
However, it is rare for leopard cats to appear in the central areas of big cities. This shows that the ecological environment of OCT Wetland Park has been greatly improved and the species in the park have been diversified through years of restoration, said the bureau.
Located in the north of the OCT Harbor complex, OCT Wetland Park is an important part of the mangrove wetlands in Shenzhen Bay. It is a Level 2 National Breeding Habitat for a variety of endangered birds.
The wetland park has drawn on the management model of international wetland reserves like the Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong and adopted an appointment system to cap the number of daily visitors to the park in 2012.
The wetland park covers a total area of 68.5 hectares and a wetland area of 50.13 hectares. More than 620 species of plants and birds have been found in the park, encompassing 320 species of plants and more than 300 species of animals, such as the black-faced spoonbill.