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|Chinese Mountain Cat|
|Aliases||Chinese Desert Cat|
Chinese Steppe Cat
|Environment||China: Eastern Qinghai, North-western Sichuan|
North-eastern Tibetan Plateau
|Average Weight||6.5 to 9 kilograms (14 to 20 lb)|
|Average Length||'Body: 27–33 in (69–84 cm)|
"Tail: 11.5–16 in (29–41 cm)
|Prey||Pika, rodents, birds|
The Chinese Mountain Cat (Felis bieti), also known as the Chinese Desert Cat and the Chinese Steppe Cat, is a subspecies of wildcat indigenous to western China. They are considered a vulnerable species, with a breeding population of fewer than 10,000 combined with poisoning of the Pika, their main food supply and unintentional poisoning of the cats themselves.
Except for the color of its fur, this cat resembles a European wildcat in its physical appearance. It is 27–33 in (69–84 cm) long, plus a 11.5–16 in (29–41 cm) tail. The adult weight can range from 6.5 to 9 kilograms (14 to 20 lb). They have a relatively broad skull, and long hair growing between the pads of their feet.
The fur is sand-colored with dark guard hairs; the underside is whitish, legs and tail bear black rings. In addition there are faint dark horizontal stripes on the face and legs, which may be hardly visible. The ears and tail have black tips, and there are also a few dark bands on the tail.
Distribution and habitatEdit
Chinese mountain cats are endemic to China and have a limited distribution over the north-eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Eastern Qinghai and north-western Sichuan account for all confirmed records of the Chinese mountain cat.
Chinese mountain cats occur in high-elevation steppe grassland, alpine meadow, alpine shrubland and coniferous forest edges between 2,500 and 5,000 m (8,200 and 16,400 ft) elevation. They have not been confirmed in true desert or heavily forested mountains.
Ecology and behaviorEdit
Until 2007, this cat was known only from six animals, all living in Chinese zoos, and a few skins in museums.