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Marked Growth Reported in Number of Tibetan Antelopes

The number of endangered Tibetan antelopes has risen by almost 50 percent in some areas of China over recent years, thanks to national conservation measures.

In southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region, the number has increased to more than 100,000 from 70,000 in 1997, said the regional forest bureau's wild animal protection section on Tuesday.   


Tibetan antelopes are under state protection in China and the government has set up state-level nature reserves in Hoh Xil and Sanjiangyuan, the source area of the three major rivers -- the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang -- in the northwestern Qinghai province, and Altun Mountains in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.


Investigations have shown that Tibet is a leading habitat for Tibetan antelopes. Large numbers of Tibetan antelopes are seen in the Qiangtang area and 17 counties in Nagqu, Ali and Xigaze prefectures.


Zhoi'ma Yangcom, an official with the wild animal protection section under the autonomous regional forestry bureau, said that Tibet had established a protection zone for the antelopes in Qiangtang as early as in the early 1990s. Meanwhile, the region beefed up its cooperation with neighboring provinces and regions in cracking down on poaching.


Zhoi'ma Yangcom also attributed the increase in the numbers to Tibet's strict implementation of international conventions and its substantial efforts to promote international cooperation in this regard.


In the past four years since 1999, Tibet has spent over 60 million yuan (US$7.25 million) on building facilities and buying equipment to protect Tibetan antelopes. The autonomous region has about 400 people involved in the protection of Tibetan antelopes.


Tibet has uncovered 346 poaching rings in the past five years and 18 people involved in the cases have been brought to justice.


(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2003)

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