On the edge of the Tibetan Plateau in Sichuan, Ruogerai is fast gaining a reputation as a wildlife destination. Pallas’s cat and Chinese mountain cat are seen with regularity, along with Tibetan fox.
At an altitude of 3,000 to 3,600 metres above sea level, the region of Ruoergai is on the very eastern perimeter of the Tibetan Plateau. The vast grasslands found here are dotted with rocky outcrops that are home to species such as plateau pika and Tibetan gazelle. This, in turn, makes these grasslands the perfect habitat for some of China’s unique predators, including Tibetan wolf, Chinese mountain cat and Tibetan fox.
Arguably the most iconic mammal species found in Ruoergai is Pallas’s cat. These felines are similar in size to a domestic cat, but they appear much larger due to their sturdy build and long, thick coat. The markings and colour on their fur provide excellent camouflage among the rocks and allows them to stalk prey more effectively. Pallas’s cat is also known for its broad head with eyes set almost in line with its ears. This adaptation allows the cat to peer over rocks exposing no more than a small part of its head, thus making it much harder for prey to detect it.
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