China / Regions

Images of gorals are caught in Datong's nature reserve

By Fang Sha ( Updated: 2014-09-22 15:22

Staff members of the Black Stork Nature Reserve, in Lingqiu near the city of Datong, Shanxi province were able to get pictures of some horned goats that live in the area for the first time, on Sept 17, and the first time for the animals to be photographed at all in the wild in the province, a good move for nature conservation.

Photographing the animals takes a great deal of time and tracking over mountains and through forests heaps, and setting up equipment, such as infrared cameras and waiting for hours on end in concealment. But, their two years of efforts paid off when they were finally able to document the animals' existence.

The nature reserve has many resources and a unique topography and ecology and is the home of a number of rare species, including the black stork and the horned goat, and the pteroceltis tatarinowii tree that is native to China. These are all protected species, especially the goat, which is under state protection.

The goat numbers have been falling lately, mainly because of hunters. An adult goat is similar in size to a domesticated goat, but doesn't have a tuft of hair on its chin, and is about 120 centimeters in length, 70 centimeters in height and weighs about 45 kg. It is covered with thick, soft grey-brown hair, with a black-brown pattern running from its head to its back, and white or yellow spots around its throat. The animal is nimble at jumping and climbing even over steep precipices and has keen eyes and ears, and makes a common goat sound.

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