Automatic digital cameras using motion detectors have been placed in remote, wild areas to help conservationists document the presence of rare wild animals. The Smithsonian Institute has published some of the images online. They are beautiful, and have captured the animals in relaxed behavior as there are no humans around to distress them.
Takin (above) are large hoofed mammals living in mountains at considerable elevations. They resemble a cross between a goat and an antelope. China and the eastern Himalayas are their territory. Males can weigh up to eight hundred pounds. Takin are the national animal of Bhutan.
This rodent species ranges from Nepal through India to China. They are also found on Malaysia. They eat tubers, roots, bark, fruits with some insects and carrion.
Asian Black Bear
This species is also known as the Moon Bear, and lives in forest throughout Asia, including Korea, China, two Japanese islands, and Russia. They are hunted for body parts and bile, due to superstitions. Due to hunting and loss of their forest habitats, they are declining in numbers and considered a vulnerable species.
Golden Snubnosed Monkey
Living in the mountainous forests of central and southwestern China, this monkey species is endangered due to habitat loss. The eat lichens and loss of forest means less trees for lichens to grow on, so their food supply has been compromised.
These small, goat-like animals live at high elevations in China, Korea, Burma and Thailand. They don’t have many natural predators because they can live in conditions other animals find inhospitable. They are vulnerable habitat loss and human hunting.
An endangered species, due to illegal hunting for their coats, they now also face a threat from global warming because they live at high elevations, which are some of the first habitats to be altered by the trend. They are adapted to living in very cold, snowy conditions and depend upon living in very rocky, difficult habitats for protection. They are a medium-sized cat and not a threat to humans.
Image Credits: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute