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Milu reserve expanded to protect rare species

China Daily, March 23, 2023
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Milu enjoy their extended habitat at the Shishou Milu National Nature Reserve in Hubei province in October. LEI GANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Habitat maintenance

The Shishou reserve is one of two national nature reserves for milu protection in China, the other being located in Yancheng, Jiangsu province.

To restore the population and help the deer return to nature, the Shishou reserve said it "maintains the milu's natural living habits, preserves their habitats and maintains the ecosystem".

Human intervention has been reduced as much as possible to improve the animal's ability to adapt to nature.

In 1998, some milu were driven out of the reserve by a flood, and they now number 1,000, which indicates strong adaptability to the wild environment, Yang added.

Biodiversity in the reserve has also increased over the years. Based on the most recent scientific investigations, the number of higher plant species in the facility has risen from 238 in 1997 to 321, while the number of terrestrial vertebrates has risen too, from 90 to 320.

The reserve is also home to 56 wildlife species under State protection, including endangered birds such as the black stork and the oriental white stork, according to the management office.

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