More than 400 wild camels, which are a listed rare species, are roaming northwest China's Gansu Province, according to the latest survey conducted by the provincial wildlife protection bureau.
The number of camels have increased from 70 over the last two decades thanks to government preservation efforts.
Inhabiting the vast desert, wild camels saw a sharp decrease in numbers at the beginning of last century because of human activities. In late 1970s, there were only 2,000 such animals across the world.
Gansu, home to the majority of this herbivorous desert-dweller in China, has set up 40 nature reserve zones covering a total area of 8.5 million hectares (21 million acres) equivalent to one fifth of the province in the last two decades, said bureau director Ma Chongyu.
He told Xinhua that successful artificial fertilization had helped with the population growth. He also attributed the result to local people's awareness of protection.
(People’s Daily June 20, 2002)