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    New lease on life for endangered animals

    China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-11-29 09:27
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    A herd of roaming wild Asian elephants in Yunnan that made headlines earlier this year.[Photo/Xinhua]

    Several rare wildlife species, whose populations have dwindled over the years, with some on the edge of extinction, have made a remarkable comeback across China.

    There have been frequent newspaper reports of sightings of rare animals, including wild Asian elephants roaming around human settlements in the southwest; Siberian tigers in the northeast; Chinese mountain cats and crested ibis in the northwest; milu deer in the central regions and Bryde's whales off the coast of Shenzhen in the south.

    However, the true scale of China's wildlife resurgence can be found in statistics presented in the country's first white paper on biodiversity conservation, which was released on Oct 8.

    The population of giant pandas in the wild has grown from 1,114 to 1,864 over the past four decades, while the crested ibis population has increased from only seven to more than 5,000, according to the white paper. The Asian elephant population in the wild has grown from 180 in the 1980s to about 300 at present, and the wild population of Hainan gibbons has increased from no more than 10 in two groups 40 years ago to 35 in five groups.

    In addition, the number of captive pandas has grown, and they have been downgraded from "endangered" to "vulnerable" on the list of species at risk of extinction.

    A separate report from China's National Forestry and Grassland Administration shows that milu deer, once nowhere to be found in the wild, have grown to around 10,000 in number, living in three conservation bases in Beijing and the provinces of Jiangsu and Hubei. The population of snow leopards in Qinghai province has expanded to more than 1,800.

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