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Cameras Show Stable Population of Wild Camels in Xinjiang

Camera traps equipped with infrared sensors have revealed that the population of wild camels, a critically endangered species, remains stable in Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The wild camel population has reached around 600, accounting for three-fifths of the world's total, the reserve administration said, adding the adult-calf ratio is relatively good.

Camera trapping in the 61,200-square-km reserve started in 2013. A total of 25 infrared cameras were installed at nine water sources in the reserve. Data are collected every three to four months.

Nearly 20,000 photos have been taken so far. In addition to wild camels, more than 20 other wild animal species were spotted, including the Tibetan wild yak, goitered gazelle, bharal and argali. The monitoring also showed increased populations of Tibetan wild donkeys, wolves and gazelles.

The wild camel is on the IUCN red list of threatened species. There are no more than 1,000 herds worldwide, and they mainly live in the vast deserts of Xinjiang and Gansu.