WUHAN, Aug. 8 (Xinhuanet)--The number of golden monkeys, a Chinese rare species, doubled in the past 15 years from 501 to more than 1,200 in Shennongjia, a natural reserve in central China's Hubei Province.
of golden monkeys enjoys a special zone of 100 square kilometers where no
visitors are allowed to enter except researchers and forest guards, said Zhong
Ran, deputy director of Shennongjia Natural Reserve Administration.
In a bid
to better protect the rare animals, Shennongjia launched a program in April to
study the golden monkey groups, Zhong said.
program is set to finish in five to eight years with more knowledge about the
animals gained, he said.
enlarged number of golden monkeys owes much to the change of the developing
model of the natural reserve in recent years, the official said.
area with rich natural forest resources, Shennongjia contributed timber of over
100,000 cubic meters every year to support China's economy from the 1960s to
deforestation seriously damaged the local ecology and the number of wild animals
dropped. In the 1990s, the coverage rate of forests was only 63.5 percent in
the change of forest policy from the central government, Shennongjia shifted
from source of timber to a forest conservation area in latter 1990s.
monkeys, known as China's "state treasures" along with pandas, are under state
level protection. Those living in Shennongjia are Chuan golden monkeys, one of
the three kinds of golden monkeys with a total number of less than 10,000 in the
Shennongjia, the watershed of Yangtze River and Han River, is the
best preserved genetic storeroom of animals and plants at the same latitude on
the earth. In 1990, it was included in the human and biosphere preservation
network by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural