Wildlife in Wolong Nature Reserve: Gorals, elves of the forest

Chinese gorals love to venture into nature's rugged areas or steep cliffs where humans are hard to come by. They are also neighbors of wild giant pandas in Wolong national nature reserve in southwest China's Sichuan Province. Their habitat in the reserve can span around 472 square kilometers, accounting for over 20 percent of the reserve's total area.

A Chinese goral on a cliff.

A Chinese goral on a cliff.

With a dark brown to pale grey coat, Chinese gorals have an iconic dark stripe running along the back. Their throat and underparts are pale, like a white patch(斑), earning them the name "banling(斑羚)" in Chinese. Researchers often see Chinese gorals on steep cliffs or high rocky slopes. These inaccessible areas allow them to escape from predators like wolves and leopards.

Chinese gorals are currently under second-class state protection in China and are listed as vulnerable (Red List) by the International Union of Conservation of Nature. 

A young Chinese goral stood on the high rocky slope in the early spring.

A young Chinese goral stood on the high rocky slope in the early spring.

For more:

Wildlife of Wolong: the 'vegetarian' carnivore

Wildlife of Wolong: The solitary night hunter

Wildlife of Wolong: The 'rainbow' in the misty mountain

Wildlife of Wolong: The cute pika catcher

Wildlife of Wolong: The deer with 'vampire fangs'

(All photos taken by He Xiao'an, head of the Publicity Department of Wolong National Nature Reserve Administration in Sichuan Province)

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