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Drawing boundaries to protect wild animals
By:China Daily
update:December 22,2023

Photo taken on July 11, 2022 shows a female Tibetan antelope taking care of its baby at the Qiangtang National Nature Reserve in Southwest China's Xizang autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

Dec. 22, 2023 -- The National Forestry and Grassland Administration released a list of 789 places that are key habitat of wild animals, covering 82.36 percent of all protected land-based wild animal species.
 
That's a key step in strengthening the protection of wild animals. Large-scale industrialization and urbanization have led to many forests being cleared and wetlands becoming polluted, destroying the habitats of many species.
 
The Wild Animal Protection Law of China, passed in 1988 and amended in 2023, has a whole chapter dealing with the protection of wild animal habitats.
 
The place list released by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration is thus an important one. It can help draw a line when it comes to urbanization with too high an ecological cost, even more so as the boundaries between human and animal habitats are getting blurred, either because rapid urbanization is forcing some wild animals to enter urban areas or the progress the country has made in recent years in environmental protection and ecological restoration that has contributed to the growing population of some species of wild animals in some places. In Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, for instance, wild boars have been sighted in urban areas several times; in 2021, a herd of elephants migrated through Southwest China's Yunnan province, capturing the world's attention. Earlier, Siberian tigers were seen wandering into villages in the border regions of Northeast China's Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces.
 
How to protect the interests of people while protecting the lives of wild animals is a big issue. By demarcating key animal habitats, the administration is trying to protect both.

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