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UPDATED: April 5, 2012
Guizhou Golden Monkey's Population Doubled in Last Three Decades

The number of the endangered Guizhou golden monkeys has doubled over the past three decades, according to a protection bureau official in southwest China's Guizhou Province who spoke to Xinhua on Monday.

As a result of the protection initiatives in the species' only habitat, numbers of the endangered primate have now reached between 750 and 800.

The population of the world's endangered Guizhou golden monkey, or snub-nosed monkey, (rhinopithecus brelichi) used to be around 300 in the 1980s when the Fanjing Mountain National Nature Reserve was established. Years of protection efforts have helped these numbers grow to between 750 and 800, said Zhang Weiyong, director of Fanjing Mountain National Nature Reserve in Tongren City, Guizhou.

More than 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) had been invested in last ten years to protect the forests, which has strengthened the stability of the environment and helped the growth of the golden monkey population, Zhang said.

"The golden monkeys mainly appear in the subtropical broad-leaved mixed forest at an altitude of between 1,000 and 1,800 meters, which is still an 'isolated island' in the center of our nature reserve. In order to boost the number of monkeys, the reserve administration has been focusing on habitat conservation and protecting the vegetation in this area," Zhang added.

To further protect the species, research and public activities were launched this year by the administration and animation protection association as well as colleges, he said.

Fanjing Mountain National Nature Reserve is also home to other rare and threatened species, including the black bear, Tibetan macaque, serow, Chinese dove tree and abies fanjingshanensis, an endangered species of conifer only found in China.

(Xinhua News Agency April 2, 2012)

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