A alpine musk deer. (Photo: Chinanews.com)
Seven endangered alpine musk deer were spotted in Qilian Mountain National Park in Northwest China's Gansu province, according to the park administration.
The footprints of the alpine musk deer have been recently identified along a 2.2-km-long survey line in Qilian Mountain National Park during wildlife research.
"It is rare to see so many alpine musk deer at such a short distance. It shows that the local environment is getting better and better," said Ma Duifang, an official with the park administration, also the leader of the research team.
Alpine musk deer were classified as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. The number of the species has been threatened by poaching and overgrazing.
China has been continuously strengthening wildlife protection efforts in recent years. With the development of national parks, wild animal populations have been growing in areas where the ecosystems and biodiversity protection and restoration have been improved.
Apart from alpine musk deer, researchers also found other rare wild animals including snow leopards, lynxes and white-lipped deer in Qilian Mountain National Park this year, according to the park administration.
The park, one of the pilot national parks, covers 50,200 square kilometers, including 34,400 square kilometers in Gansu province and 15,800 square kilometers in neighboring Qinghai province.