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China to Start Artificial Breeding of Golden Monkeys
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China plans to increase the number of golden monkeys, a rare species native to China, by way of artificial breeding.

Sources with the Shennongjia Nature Reserve in central China's Hubei Province said the nature reserve administration has designated a 166-hectare area in the nature reserve for artificial breeding. About 10 - 15 golden monkeys will be put into captivity for scientific study, which serves the purpose of increasing the number of the rare animal species, the sources said.


Zhong Ran, deputy director of the state-level Shennongjia Nature Reserve, said that construction on the 30-million-yuan (US$3.6 million) project was expected to begin next year and the project was expected to be completed within two to three years.   


Initial investigations show that Shennongjia is now home to more than 900 golden monkeys belonging to eight groups.


More than 20 technicians in the nature reserve and scientists and researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peking University and Wuhan University will join in the planned research program.


Located in the northwestern part of Hubei Province, Shennongjia has rich bio-diversity. It boasts 3,084 varieties of vascular bundle plants, 493 kinds of vertebrate and 560 kinds of insects. Of the total number, 22 wild plants and 66 wild animals are under state protection.


(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2003)

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