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China to Launch Antelope Protection Scheme

China will launch a long-term project to protect a rare wild antelope species unique to China.


The project is expected to be finished in 10 years, costing a total investment of 72.65 million yuan (US$8.75 million), said Dong Jiansheng, deputy director of the Qinghai Provincial Administration of Wildlife and Nature Reserve Protection.


The first phase, which is due to be completed this year, includes construction of four centers providing an additional protected area of 660 square meters, expansion of upgraded grazing land by 120 hectares and establishment of more spots to provide food and water for the wild antelopes. The move will greatly improve the antelope's living environment.


The antelope species, procapra przewalskii, was named after Russian zoologist Przewalskii. The species has been listed as the most endangered antelope by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).


This precious wildlife, once inhabiting a large area in western and northern China, is now confined only to a few habitats around Qinghai Lake, China's largest inland lake. Numbering about 300, the antelope is on the brink of extinction.


Native to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, procapra przewalskii constitute an essential part of the entire eco-system in the region, said a Chinese antelope expert.  

(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2005)

Antelope Protection Stepped Up
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