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China cracks down on wildlife, forest crimes

Updated: Feb 15,2017 9:30 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — More than 29,000 wildlife and forest-related criminal cases were processed last year, China’s forestry watchdog said on Feb 14.

The cases involved 2.64 billion yuan (around $383.72 million) in total, Wang Haizhong, forestry police chief of the State Forestry Administration, said at a conference.

China launched three campaigns focused on wildlife and forest crimes in 2016. Authorities uncovered 2,138 cases of illegal woodland use, up 76.6 percent year on year.

Wang pledged tougher crack down on poaching and illegal trade of wild animals as well as other forest-related crimes in 2017.

China has rich wildlife resources with around 6,500 vertebrate species, about 10 percent of the world’s total.

Over 470 terrestrial vertebrates are indigenous to China, including the giant panda, golden monkey, South China tiger and Chinese alligator.

To protect biodiversity, China has listed rare and endangered species and put them under judicial protection, with many laws and regulations at the central and local levels.