Ancient quarrying activities have emptied almost the whole island of Shepan, leaving numerous hollows of all sizes. Standing atop the mountain, you will see that the land of Shepan resembles a giant honeycomb. Photo/ Ye Wenlong

Walking silently in the snow, like a king, M2 was captured in January 2016 while patrolling his territory. In his 300 square kilometer kingdom, M2 has newborn “princes” and “princesses” every year. Like all large predators, leopards need intact forest as habitat to provide enough prey. In the Taihang Mountains, agile roe deer, fierce wild boars and even cunning foxes are all on a leopard’s menu. Photo/ Chinese Felid Conservation Association

In Huangyao Ancient Town, there are more than 300 dwellings cluttered together, most of which are structures from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Today, more than 2,000 people still live in Huangyao.  Photo / Zhou Fuzhu

In China, the East Lake of Shaoxing is as famous as the West Lake of Hangzhou. It is said that it took 45 generations of stonecutters removing rock in order to create the bed for the lake. Photo/ Ye Wenlong

As night falls, the beam of our searchlight has dressed the collapsed area of the ancient Nanshanwu Silver Mine of Yinshan, Dexing, with a glimmering coat. Silver mining here ended not long ago in the 20th century but now the former bustling mine is almost completely hidden by rampant weeds. Not far away over the mountain, the recently discovered gold mine at Jinshan is full of the roar of modern machinery. Comparatively, the tranquil air here allows our minds to go back in history. Standing in front of the ancient entrance of a collapsed mine, we imagine hearing the echoes of chisels and hammers pounding against the tough rocks. Photo/ Li Jin