A government-backed wildlife conservation body has raised about 255 million yuan (US$33.96 million) to protect the country's endangered wild animals.
The fund, which mainly comes from donations from international wild animal groups, has spent 179 million yuan during the past decade to protect giant pandas and golden monkeys, two endangered animals exclusive to China, the China Wildlife Conservation Association said at a meeting today.
Money for panda protection will be mainly allocated for research on breeding of the animals and projects for setting up habitations for in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Beijing-based association also revealed that more than 240,000 Chinese have joined a nationwide group to protect wildlife since its establishment in 1983.
The association also has set up 720 branches across China while 2,982 social groups have also taken part in its activities during the last two decades.
Wild animals in China face increasing threats from human activities as they are regarded as delicious and precious food in some areas.
About 31.1 percent of 1,352 urban residents admitted that they have eaten wild animals, according to a survey conducted by the Chinese office of the International Fund for Animal Welfare in April last year.
The survey covered 16 cities across the country, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou from October 2005 to January 2006, the association said on its official Website.
(Shanghai Daily September 15, 2007)