The leopard cat was spotted in the Wuyuan River wetland in Haikou, less than 500 meters from the municipal government

The reporter learned from the haikou 畓榃 Wetland Research Institute that the institute recently monitored ocelots in the Wuyuan River Wetland Park, and one of the monitoring sites was less than 500 meters away from the Haikou municipal government as the crow flies.This is the first time that a population of ocelots has been found in an urban area in Hainan.(Pictures and videos are provided by haikou 畓榃 Wetland Research Institute.) Lu Gang, director of haikou 畓榃 Wetland Research Institute, introduced that since September 2021, the institute has set up nine infrared cameras to monitor mammals in Haikou Wuyuanhe National Wetland Park.Results Ocelots were frequently detected at several points in the whole wuyuan River basin, which indicated that there was an ocelots population living in the Wuyuan River region.Ocelots were expected to be spotted in the suburbs of Haikou, but not so close to the city centre, where they were widely distributed and adaptable.As the most representative carnivore, cats are known as Kings at the top of the food chain, which is important for maintaining ecological balance.Hainan has only two species of cat: clouded leopards and ocelots.Since clouded leopards have not been seen in Hainan for many years, ocelots have become the main representative of feline animals in Hainan.Ocelots, also known as “wildcats” or “bobcats”, differ from domestic cats in that they are larger and their patterns are mainly made up of spots (the patterns of domestic cats are mostly made up of stripes).Thanks to their excellent survival skills, ocelots have become the most widely distributed feline species in China, living everywhere except in the arid areas of the north and west.Ocelots not only have a wide range, but can also adapt to a variety of habitats, from forest to wetland, from rural to urban.Ocelots mainly feed on various kinds of rodents and have made great achievements in controlling rodent damage.Ocelots, like other cats, have very beautiful patterns.Because of its beautiful fur, it has suffered a lot throughout history, with populations in many areas plummeting during a long period of large-scale hunting in the last century.Ocelots have been upgraded from “three species” to “second class” in the list of State Key Protected Wild Animals issued in 2021.Why are ocelots in cities?According to Lu, small animals like ocelots may be less demanding than people think, and can survive even in fragmented habitats.Ocelots have previously been spotted in urban parks in Shenzhen, raccoon dogs have been found in urban areas in Shanghai, and weasels are widely found in human settlements.So it is not surprising that ocelots have been spotted in The Wuyuanhe National Wetland Park in Haikou.Since its construction in 2017, Wuyuan River National Wetland Park has provided a habitat for a variety of rare wild animals and plants through river ecological management, wetland protection and restoration, and habitat creation.National key protected animals such as anguilla anguilla, cygnet and pheasant have been discovered successively, and the “star species” chestnut throat bee-eaters have been breeding here for many years.The discovery of ocelots shows that the habitats of animals and plants in Wuyuanhe National Wetland Park are being effectively protected and restored, which is expected to provide a secret urban habitat for more native wildlife.(Guangming Daily omnimedia reporter Wang Xiaoying) Source: Guangming Daily omnimedia reporter Wang Xiaoying Pictures and video: Haikou 畓榃 Wetland Research Institute Editor: Wang Zi Mo Editor: Zhang Xueyu Sun Dai

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