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Number of Tibetan Antelopes on Rise

The number of Tibetan antelopes has been on the rise in certain regions of China thanks to the efforts made by China and the international community to protect the endangered species.


This has been a common consensus of zoologists attending a coordination meeting on the protection of Tibetan antelopes, which was co-sponsored by the Xinjing Uygur Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and the Tibet Autonomous Region in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, on Saturday.


China now has at least 100,000 Tibetan antelopes, much higher than the 75,000 antelopes announced in 1999, and the number of the animal has been on the rise, Zhang Li, the Chinese representative for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, told the meeting.


The increase in the number of Tibetan antelopes is attributed to the cooperation with the international community and great efforts the Chinese government has made to protect the rare species, said Fan Zhiyong, head of the China Animal Import and Export Office.


Currently, China has established five state-level protection zones for Tibetan antelopes in Xinjiang, Tibet and Qinghai.


The Tibetan antelope is a kind of rare animal species native to China, which lives in the highlands of Xinjiang, Qinghai and Tibet and there is a small number of the antelopes living in India.


Historical materials show that the number of the antelopes once reached a record one million in history, but in the last 20 years of the 20th century, the number of the antelopes dropped drastically due to excessive poaching.


The Tibetan antelope has been put under state key protection in China and has been put on the appendix protection list of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.


(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2005)

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