Beijing’s Leopard Cats featured in Straits Times

Raising awareness of the rich biodiversity in Beijing is a key step towards building the pride of Beijingers which, in turn, builds support for policies and measures to protect the incredible wildlife that can be found here.

In that context, it is great to see Danson Cheong of the Straits Times writing about Beijing’s Leopard Cats.  Beijing is one of the few major capital cities in the world to host wild cats, so this species is a jewel in the crown of the capital and ought to be a key consideration when designing land management and habitat protection and restoration policies.  The Leopard Cat loves tall grass, providing shelter and cover for it to hunt prey.  This type of habitat is often cleared as it is deemed ‘untidy’, meaning that the Leopard Cat’s habitat in lowland Beijing is shrinking. 

Typical habitat of the Leopard Cat in Beijing. This habitat is also important for many bird species, providing cover and food in all seasons.

Enlightened land management policies could help to ensure that this incredible species has a bright future in China’s capital city, thriving alongside its human neighbours.  The first step is to increase awareness.

Kudos to Professor Luo Shu-Jin for inviting Danson on a field trip as part of her team’s research programme, giving him the opportunity to experience the research work for himself and to gain a detailed understanding.  Professor Luo’s study, including radio-tracking, will help build a much greater understanding of the habitat needs and movements of these poorly-known felids and, together with awareness-raising through articles such as this one, will go a long way to building more support for policies that protect this special cat.

You can read Danson’s article in the Straits Times here.

And click here for the dedicated page about Professor Luo ShuJin’s study of Beijing’s Leopard Cats.

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