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Protection of threatened species in SW China sees marked improvement

Updated: Oct 9, 2021 Print
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Photo shows two Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys clinging to a tree branch. The monkeys inhabit mountain forests at high altitudes in China. They are unique to China. [Photo provided by the Shangri-la Yunnan Snub-Nosed Monkey National Park]

A species of wildlife that is unique to China, the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) is one of the most endangered species in the country and is classified as a Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The monkeys inhabit a narrow strip of mountain forests totaling approximately 20,000 square meters in size between the Jinsha (upper section of the Yangtze River) and the Lancang (Chinese name for the Mekong River) rivers in Southwest China. Their rarity makes them a national treasure as dear as the giant panda.

The Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys live on lichen found on trees, as well as bamboo leaves and shoots, and other seasonal plants. [Photo provided by the Shangri-la Yunnan Snub-Nosed Monkey National Park]

Boasting rich tourism resources, the Shangri-la Yunnan Snub-Nosed Monkey National Park in Southwest China's Yunnan province was established in 2009 in the hinterlands of a world natural heritage site - the Three Parallel Rivers.

Along with rising awareness of environmental protection and the strategic development of local tourism, the protection of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys has shown marked improvement in recent years. Their population and group number have increased from 1,000-1,500 in 13 groups in 1996 to 3,300 in 23 groups now. This practice and approach have set an example for the protection and conservation of flagship species.

The State Council Information Office released a white paper on Friday titled Biodiversity Conservation in China, according to which the country has taken an active part in international conferences and activities, giving impetus to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, and established bilateral cooperation mechanisms with Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa and other countries.

COP 15, the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, is to be held in Kunming, Yunnan province, from Oct 11 to 15.

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