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Creatures of habitat

By Erik Nilsson | China Daily | Updated: 2014-03-02 07:48

Creatures of habitat

Armed police escort livestock in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region's Xilin Gol League. Zou Jianpu / Xinhua

Governments and NGOs are innovating resolutions to conservation controversies that arise between endangered species and people who share the land with them. Erik Nilsson reports.

The government has cooked up a solution to elephants plundering the crops upon which farmers depend in Yunnan's Xishuangbanna - a giant "canteen" for the massive mammals.

The hope is the planned 260-hectare plot of equal parts bamboo and bananas will provide an alternative food source for the animals that devour yields in Pu'er city's Simao district, where farmers' fields make for easy pickings for the 38 pachyderms that roam the rainforests.

Yet the canteen is but one answer to China's human-wildlife conflicts that successful conservation exacerbates. Governments and NGOs are conjuring innovative techniques to allay such clashes around the country.

Armed police are escorting livestock in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region's Xilin Gol League, where wolves killed more than 1,000 livestock animals in 2011, causing nearly 1 million yuan ($157,480) in losses.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare worked with the Beijing Forestry Bureau to establish a compensation scheme for poultry farmers whose fowl are taken by raptors. It's the first local regulation of its kind in an urban center, the IFAW says.

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