Friday, 9 March 2012

Rare monkeys in China to be protected

BEIJING, March 6 (UPI) -- China says a new research center will be built to protect the country's rare golden monkeys.

The center, approved by the State Forestry Administration, will be established in Shennongjia Nature Reserve in central China's Hubei province, officials said Monday.

Shennongjia golden monkeys live in thick forests at altitudes of between 5,500 feet and 20,000 feet and are on the verge of extinction, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

"The establishment of the golden monkey center will attract more financial support and uplift the research and study on the protection of the animal," Qian Yuankun, chief of the Shennongjia Forestry District, said.

China's science authorities have already approved $4.76 million for research and protection of golden monkeys in Shennongjia, he said.

"The center will also promote international exchanges and cooperation in this field," Qian said.

Regarded as a "state treasure" like the giant pandas, golden monkeys are under the government's top level of protection.

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