For the first time in 32 years, China doubles the number of protected wild animals, including birds and wolves, and hands out substantial fines to deter illegal activities.
“It took more than three decades, but Chinese environmental groups and advocates have finally gotten their wish: an updated protected wildlife animals list with more than 500 new species on it,” says writer Li You.
The Chinese population gained a newfound appreciation for birds following the termination of Mao’s sparrow elimination campaign once it was proven that they control the insect population, and therefore help protect crops. As for wolves, they play a positive role in eliminating animals that threaten the ecosystem and preserving the Mongolian region’s ecology, hence their addition to the updated list which now contains 980 protected wild species. Fines can go as high as $15,500 for poachers and traders alike.