After more than 30 years of implementation, the list of national key protected wild animals has finally ushered in a major revision for the first time.
Recently, the State Forestry and grassland administration and the Ministry of agriculture and rural areas have solicited public opinions on the list of national key protected wild animals (Draft for comments) (hereinafter referred to as the list), which is the first time since the implementation of the wildlife protection law in 1989.
What are the highlights of the newly revised list and what is the significance of better protecting rare and endangered wildlife? The reporter interviewed relevant experts.
There are more new species to be added than the total number of protected species. More than 50 species such as Yangtze finless porpoise and blue whale are planned to be upgraded to the first level of protection
The Yangtze finless porpoise is a unique cetacean of the Yangtze River. It is known as the giant panda in the water. At present, there are only more than 1000 porpoises left. Not long ago, when a citizen in Wuhan, Hubei Province was fishing by the river, he saw more than 10 Yangtze finless porpoises playing and jumping on the river. In the past few decades, due to the influence of human activities, the population of Yangtze finless porpoise has been shrinking and is on the verge of extinction. Experts and conservation organizations have been calling for the Yangtze finless porpoise to be upgraded to a class I protected animal.
According to the law on the protection of wild animals, the State implements classified and graded protection of wild animals, and focuses on the protection of rare and endangered wild animals. Wildlife under state key protection is divided into wildlife under first-class protection and wildlife under second-class protection. During the revision of the directory, these appeals were responded to.
The newly revised list has changed greatly, and the scope of wildlife under state key protection has been greatly increased. More than 300 species, such as green headed diving duck and yellow breasted bunting, are planned to be added, which is more than the total number of protected species; the protection level of more than 50 species such as Yangtze River finless porpoise and blue whale is planned to be upgraded to level 1, and the species of Tibetan antelope and Tibetan wild donkey are planned to be reduced to level 2.
Endangered species is the primary principle of species protection level adjustment.
White cheeked macaques, Asiatic jackals, lazy bears, red hyenas and other species are included in the key protection scope. The person in charge of the State Forestry and grassland administration said that these species are small populations or marginal distribution in Southwest China. They are important components of the local fauna, have important ecological functions, and are valuable members of Chinas biodiversity. It is necessary to protect the wild populations of these animals according to law, and focus on the protection of their habitats.
According to the army, director of the national bird banding center, one of the highlights of the adjustment of the list lies in the inclusion of species that have attracted wide attention due to human development and utilization. For example, the Yellow breasted bunting does not fully meet the scientific criteria for inclusion. However, due to excessive hunting, the number of wild population has decreased significantly, which has aroused widespread concern in the international community. This adjustment is to be added as a class I protected animal.
Represented by Passeriformes, songbirds, such as goblin, skylark, thrush, etc., are captured as songbirds, while ornamental birds, such as Acacia and Brucea, seem to be in large numbers, but they are facing serious poaching pressure. It will greatly enhance the crackdown on poaching, illegal trade and exploitation if it is included in the state key protection. The army said.
According to the person in charge of the State Forestry and grassland administration, the list only lists wild animals that are naturally distributed in China or have records of natural distribution and are native to China, excluding wild animals originated from overseas. Some species meet the scientific criteria for listing, but the social concern is very low. Once listed, it may aggravate the risk of illegal hunting and trade, so it is not considered to be included for the time being.
Inclusion in the list means an increase in conservation projects and conservation funds, which will effectively promote the gradual restoration of population and habitat
With so many new species added to the list, are the living conditions of these species worrying?
Not necessarily. Zhang Wei, Professor of wildlife and nature reserve College of Northeast Forestry University, believes that, on the one hand, under the background of strengthening the construction of ecological civilization in China, the ability to protect species is becoming stronger and stronger, and it has the ability to put more species into the key protection scope. On the other hand, with the development of taxonomy, the Chinese names and scientific names of many species are different from those at the beginning of the publication of the list. This important change has been taken into account in the adjustment of the list, which objectively leads to the increase of species included in the scope of protection, which also reflects our more scientific understanding of animals.
It means a lot for a species to be included in the scope of key protection. According to Shi Kun, whether or not to be included in the list will directly affect the research investment, protection policies, and judicial enforcement of species, including the setting and investment of species protection projects, the establishment or upgrading of nature reserves, the planning of national parks, the delimitation of important habitats, the fight against poaching and illegal trade, and the determination and punishment of related cases. With the development of conservation projects and the increase of investment in conservation funds, some of the animals listed in the list, such as giant panda, Tibetan antelope and crested ibis, have gradually recovered their populations and habitats, and their threat status has been significantly reduced.
It is worth noting that in the draft, people have the impression that Tibetan antelope, Tibetan wild donkey and other species that are endangered in the medium and long term are planned to be reduced to class II.
Remarkable achievements have been made in ecological protection and cracking down on poaching in the Qinghai Tibet Plateau. The population of Tibetan antelope has been significantly restored, and the situation of Tibetan wild ass, Python and other species is similar. Zhang Wei said that the withdrawal of these species from the list of endangered Star animals is based on the conclusion of scientific assessment, which reflects the effectiveness of conservation work, and also brings a sense of achievement and confidence to the conservation work.
Will the degradation of species protection level lead to the failure of conservation achievements? Some experts have such concerns. Tibetan antelope, Tibetan wild donkey and other species have recovered after hard work. Once the protection level is reduced to level 2, the illegal cost of destroying species will be reduced, which may lead to the rebound of poaching behavior and threaten the survival of species He said.
Of course, not being included in the list does not mean that species are not protected at all. Flagship species, such as carnivores at the top of the food chain, are representative species of regional ecological protection. Protecting their habitat is related to the protection of the entire ecosystem. Zhang Wei said that the flagship species will benefit not only one species, but also the entire ecosystem.
Zhang Wei said that habitat reduction and quality degradation are common threats to the survival of many wild animals. Based on various conservation objectives, national and local nature reserves are established throughout the country to benefit other species distributed in the same area and habitat. The establishment of protected areas can implement the protection of some animals not included in the list and their habitats.
In addition, the wildlife protection law also stipulates the local key protection list and three haves (terrestrial wildlife with important ecological, scientific and social value). For some species that are not seriously threatened, the implementation of grading and land-based protection, combined with the delimitation of forbidden areas and hunting seasons, will help to protect the survival and reproduction of these animals. Zhang Wei said.
It is necessary to construct a reasonable mechanism for the entry and exit of the directory, improve social awareness, and avoid crimes due to ignorance of the directory and familiarity with laws
After the list was published, many experts and protection organizations put forward feedback.
Some experts said that the red list of biodiversity in China - vertebrate volume released in 2015 is the main reference for the adjustment of the list. However, it has been five years since the assessment of related species in the red list, and the threat status of species has changed greatly, which also affects the accuracy of the adjustment of the list. There are no marine fish in the assessment. Most of the marine fish resources in China are not clear, and the area of marine protected areas is relatively small, resulting in the delay of the whole marine protection process, which is not conducive to the protection of these endangered and extremely endangered marine fish.
With the deepening of wildlife investigation and protection, more endangered species will appear in the future. Experts from Shanshui nature conservation center, a non-governmental organization for environmental protection, believe that for newly discovered and reported species, most of them are narrow distribution species with small population number, limited distribution area and vulnerability. If they are not included in the list, it is suggested that they should be protected at level 2 or above and adjusted according to the actual situation when the list is updated.
According to the wildlife protection law, the list of national key protected wildlife will be adjusted every five years according to the assessment. Zhang Wei suggested that we should increase investment in scientific research, strengthen the investigation and monitoring of species resources, scientifically evaluate the population status, regularly update or adjust the list according to law, and build a reasonable directory in and out mechanism.
How to coordinate the relationship among the directory, the local key protection list and the three haves list? Yu Wenxuan, director of the Institute of environmental and resource law of China University of political science and law, suggested that the principle of combining general protection with key protection should be implemented, and the non rare and non three haves wildlife should be included in the scope of legal protection. We should integrate the current national and local key protected list, solve the problem of species overlapping among the lists, form a national unified list of key protected wildlife, and timely update and open it based on the dynamic adjustment mechanism of the list.
We should strengthen the reasonable regulation of commercial utilization. Only when there is no artificial breeding provenance, can the wild provenance be used. When wild animals are used for scientific research and other purposes, a supervision mechanism shall be established for the flow direction of eliminated wild animals. Yu Wenxuan said.
Shi Kun suggested that once the species were included in the national key protection scope, rescue plans should be formulated as soon as possible to restore the threatened species populations and habitats. In addition, the habitat of rare species should be protected in combination with the construction of protected areas. The inclusion of species in the national key protection scope does not mean that only the state has the protection responsibility. The local authorities should cooperate with the state to establish grass-roots protection institutions, and the responsibilities should be implemented at the county and district level.
After a species is included in the list or the protection level is upgraded, the sentencing standards and legal liabilities for destroying the species will be very different. The army says that once they are aware of the legal liability they may face, some peoples violations will be restrained. After the official publication of the directory, we should do a good job of publicity, improve social awareness, and avoid people who do not know the directory and are not familiar with the law and commit crimes. Reporter Kou Jiangze