The newly revised List of Terrestrial Wildlife Species with Significant Ecological, Scientific and Societal Value broadens the scope of wildlife protection by adding more than 700 new species, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said.
Attention has been drawn to the reasons behind the adjustments to the list and the potential impact the changes will have on wildlife conservation efforts.
Last month, the administration said the revision not only added hundreds of species but also removed some animals from the original list released in 2000.
Zhang Zhengwang, a professor of environment at Beijing Normal University, told Science and Technology Daily, "Experts who adjusted the list reassessed the ecological, scientific and social values of terrestrial wildlife and considered factors such as population and threats the animals face."
The new list includes 1,924 species of terrestrial wildlife, with birds accounting for the majority, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said.
Zhang was quoted as saying that based on the new situation and fresh research results, the expanded list prioritizes the environment and focuses on the status of species in food chains, as well as their role in maintaining a balance of nature.
In particular, the new list gives priority to those species with a narrow distribution range, declining populations, and which face various threats, but have not been included in the key national protected list, Zhang said.
For example, the leaf deer has been added to the revised list, as the animal needs protection but has not yet been included on the national list.
"Adjusting and expanding the scope of the list will provide a legal basis for combating activities that destroy wild animals and their habitats, as well as the illegal use of wildlife," Zhang was quoted as saying.
While species that face survival challenges have been added to the list, hundreds of others have been removed.
Some of the removals include species on the National Key Protected Wildlife List, meaning they will receive even stricter protection, the administration said.
Species such as wild boars, which are widely distributed in China with extremely high populations, and which no longer face the risk of extinction, were removed from the List of Terrestrial Wildlife Species with Significant Ecological, Scientific and Societal Value, the administration said.
With 8,197 species of vertebrates alone, China is one of the countries with the largest variety of wild animals in the world.
To improve protection efficiency, the nation implements classified and hierarchical protection management of wild animals.