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China has only 70,000 to 100,000 Tibetan antelopes: NPC deputy

  时间:2006-03-17 14:32    来源:     

The number of Tibetan antelopes in China has dropped to 70,000-100,000 from about 1 million in the past two decades due to "extensive poaching" and human encroachment of their habitats, according to a Chinese legislator who is here attending the ongoing annual session of the country's top legislative body.

Abdulla Abbas, a professor with northwest China's Xinjiang University, said on the sidelines of the Fourth Session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC), that the population of the species shrank sharply last century, mainly due to rampant poaching and the degeneration of the environment.

International traffickers use the antelopes to make shahtoosh shawls, a luxury item that requires three to five pieces of antelope fur to make just one shawl, the NPC deputy said.

Tibetan antelopes scatter in an area of more than 700,000 square kilometers, covering northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and Tibet Autonomous Region, where most Tibetan antelopes live.

"In addition to the existing breeding bases in the Altun Mountains and the central party of the Kunlun Mountains, Xinjiang has found a new Tibetan antelope breeding base in the western part of Kunlun Mountains, where about 4,000 to 4,500 female antelopes give birth to lambs," he said.

"We should take prompt measures to protect the new breeding place, since it has not been under any protection yet," he said.

Tibetan antelope has been recognized as an endangered species and protected under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species since 1979 and listed as a Class-A protected wildlife in China's Wildlife Protection Law since it was promulgated in 1988.

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