Across China: From 300 to 1,300, the return of endangered langurs

Source: Xinhua| 2021-10-16 14:05:15|Editor: huaxia

NANNING, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Resting on a boulder surrounded by lush forests, a white-headed langur family huddles together as the mother holds a newborn in her arms.

The endangered animal, characterized by the white hair on their heads, are spotted in the 200-square km karst hills between the Zuojiang and Mingjiang rivers in the city of Chongzuo, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The white-headed langur is one of the world's most endangered primate species and exclusive to China. In the 1980s, its population dwindled to some 300 due to decades of deforestation, land reclamation and poaching.

In 2005, a regional-level nature reserve to protect the rare langurs was established in Chongzuo. It was later upgraded into a national reserve.

However, some enterprises and villagers had once encroached on the land in the reserve to grow crops and trees with higher economic values or took the land to refine gasoline with waste tires, which caused severe pollution of soil, air and water, and seriously threatened the survival of the rare species.

Advanced technologies including unmanned aerial vehicles, infrared cameras, video surveillance and satellite remote sensing have been widely used in protected areas to monitor the langur groups and other rare animals and plants in real-time, as well as help rangers to better carry out inspection.

"Protecting the white-headed langur is conserving biodiversity. We've intensified law enforcement and ordered violators to restore the land," said Pan Xiaoyu, deputy procurator-general of the procuratorate in Chongzuo.

"The forest coverage of the reserve was about 70 percent about a decade ago, now the figure has risen to 86 percent," said Nong Pandeng, deputy director of the reserve's administration.

Qunan, a village in Fusui County, is a major habitat for white-headed langurs. In 2014, villagers spontaneously marked out a protected area for the endangered animal. They regularly conducts inspections to protect the species.

Now white-headed langurs are much more frequently spotted thanks to the joint efforts. Currently, their population has increased to around 1,300.

"The white-headed langur is a cute but endangered species. I hope more people can participate in their protection," said Liu Kuntong, a volunteer responsible for observing white-headed langurs. Enditem

KEY WORDS: China,Biodiversity,White,headed langur