Wildlife monitoring improves in national parks

2023-08-21 10:06:34China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A high-tech monitoring system has been introduced in China's national parks to increase management efficiency and reduce costs, a national park expert said at the Second National Park Forum held in Xining, Qinghai province, on Saturday.

The system helps improve efficiency by monitoring and assessing conservation efforts more frequently as well as sharing the data on a larger scale, said Tang Xiaoping, head of the National Park Research Institute.

"In the past, field surveys required people to venture into the mountains to find traces of wild animals, but they usually found little. Also, conducting patrols in the parks was a dangerous task that required teams of at least two who would walk for an entire day.

"Now, in the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, for example, more than 20,000 infrared cameras have been installed, improving the monitoring of wild animals. Moreover, drones can be programmed to follow preset routes and transmit real-time data and photos of animals back without causing any disturbance," Tang said.

The monitoring system also assesses the parks' conservation efforts by evaluating the ecological assets and services provided, he said.

The system enables information sharing among various departments involved in national park management and makes it possible by establishing unified standards and methods for data collection, Tang said.

China has established over 9,000 nature reserves, with 74 percent of terrestrial wildlife species under national key protection, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said.

The five national parks that China established in 2021 have shown success in restoring and improving ecosystem functions, the administration said.

For example, the Giant Panda National Park spanning Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces has protected over 70 percent of wild giant pandas.

The Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces has seen its tiger population exceed 50 and its leopard population exceed 60.

Fernando Lugris, Uruguay's ambassador to China, said at the forum: "I am absolutely impressed with the level of the development of the conservation in the country. I think the relevant authorities here in China are doing a marvelous job in expanding the system of national parks."

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