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Efforts underway to protect endangered monkeys
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The demolition of a mountain-top hotel will help protect the endangered grey snub-nosed monkey in southwest China's Guizhou Province.

The Mogushi Hotel was creating too much garbage in the Fanjing Mountain National Nature Reserve, said Zhang Yanghong, tourism head of Yinjiang County on Friday.

The reserve's management began demolishing the 80-bed hotel April 6. Its owner was paid 880,000 yuan (128,800 U.S. dollars) by Wuhan Sante, a company which will begin operating a cableway into the reserve at the end of this month, according to Zhang.

At an altitude of 2,270 meters, the Mogushi Hotel was called the highest hotel in Guizhou Province. It began operations in 2002 and was a favorite choice for tourists who wanted to see the monkeys and a sunrise. To get there, they had to climb 7,897 steps by foot.

The stairway will remain after the hotel is gone. A 3,400-meter cableway to the mountain top will also be put in use as of April 29. It will allow tourists to make visit the reserve in one day.

Zhang said the cableway will bypass where the grey snub-nosed monkeys live to reduce impacts on the animals.

The monkey, the rarest among the three species of golden monkeys in China's Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Hubei provinces, mainly lives in the Fanjing Mountain National Nature Reserve.

Groups of the snub-nosed monkey were not found by Chinese scientists until the early 1980s. At that time, it was estimated that there were only 200. After years of protection, the population has risen to 850, still far less than the number of giant pandas in China, which is estimated to be around 1,830.

(Xinhua News Agency April 11, 2009)

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