Sichuan Safari (on the sly) – November 2014

My partner and I spent over 2 weeks in Sichuan visiting Longcanggou, Wolong, Balang Shan, Ruoergai, Tangjiahe and the new Panda Valley centre in Dujiangyang. We were targeting Red Panda, Tibetan wolf and Tibetan fox. We spent quite a lot of the nights spotlighting and were rewarded with several Hog Badgers and Leopard cats amongst other things.  We saw quite a few good birds along the way too. Plus a mystery moggy which we believe was most likely Chinese Desert Cat..

A full trip report can be found here




  • vdinets

    Recent genetic data show that Chinese desert cat is a subspecies of Wildcat. Wildcats occurring in Gansu and Inner Mongolia are intermediate in appearance.

  • Israel

    very nice report! It makes me want to go back again. Was the Tibetan gazelle photo taken through a scope? My photos of the gazelles I saw were rubbish (I had no scope!).

    For the Gansu pika at Baxi be aware they may actually be Moupin pika. See my comment on this thread:

    Israel (aka Chlidonias)

  • kittykat23uk

    Hi Israel, thanks for you comments, the gazelle was taken with my E-5 and 70-300 lens with a 1.4 tc. Not as sharp as my 50-200 but the gazelle was quite distant.

    As for the Pikas, yes Sid and I discussed James Eatons comments about the I.D. So these were best guesses. However the two small ones we saw were in different habitats, typical of the description in the mammals of China book for the respective species and they seemed to have slightly different coloration to. I guess that there will be variation in the two species and unless someone does a comprehensive study of both populations I guess this is still up in the air.

    Tbh when the larger mammals give pause for though- note the Pallas vs Chinese Mountain Cat debate we had in my TR and also the long-tailed vs Chinese Goral I.D. Discussion, there’s a lot more to do to be 100% on the mammals here.

    What do you think of the niviventer? I know you like rats! 🙂

  • tomeslice

    Great report! (again 🙂 )
    I just caught the video of the leopard cat and the hog badge, I must have missed it the first time.

    Well done, all around! My Sichuan experience was definitely scenic and non-wildlife, unfortunately. But it was cool too. Now that I saw some of the cool “touristy” stuff I can go back and concentrate on the mammals (and birds) without feeling guilty like I’m “skipping” all the “normal people” stuff. lol.

    What’s your next big adventure?

  • kittykat23uk

    Thanks Tomeslice,

    Well, unusually I haven’t got anything planned yet, life getting in the way unfortunately. But I am open to ideas if anyone is planning anything for later in the year!

    All the best,


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