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Wild animals double in Tibetan nature reserve


LHASA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The populations of wild Tibetan antelopes, donkeys and yaks in a nature reserve in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region have roughly doubled thanks to effective protection efforts in the past 20 years, showed figures released on Tuesday.

The number of Tibetan antelopes in the area has increased to 150,000 from 80,000 when the Qiangtang Nature Reserve was established in 1993. Wild yaks and Tibetan donkeys have increased to 40,000 and 90,000 respectively, compared with 20,000 and 50,000 at the establishment of the reserve.

However, the strengthened protection efforts have also meant more cases of injuries to humans or property losses caused by wild animals in the nature reserve and its surrounding areas.

But government departments have offered timely compensations to local herdsmen for the losses, which have boosted their environmental protection awareness, according to a wildlife protection official with the Tibet Forestry Department.

Forestry authorities have also stepped up law enforcement among residents in the reserve and confiscated hunting equipment such as rifles to prevent poaching and smuggling, he added.

With an average altitude of more than 5,000 meters, the Qiangtang Nature Reserve has an area of 298,000 square km. It became a state-level nature reserve in 2000. It is a habitat for wild animals such as Tibetan antelopes, donkeys, yaks and snow leopards on the state protection list.