Wang Min, the governor of China’s Jilin Province and Liu Yanchun, director of the Jilin Provincial Forestry Department, were awarded World Wildlife Fund (WWF) ‘Leaders for a Living Planet’ certificates for their conservation achievements on Tuesday.
In January 1996, Jilin was the first province in China to introduce a law banning the hunting of all land wildlife and, according to a survey this year by the local forestry authorities, the numbers of Siberian tigers, leopards, deer, and wild boars have increased increased since then.
In the meantime, another Chinese province, Heilongjiang, has cancelled a plan to kill about 50 wild boar under pressure from environmentally-conscious local residents, 10,000 of whom have now signed a petition to protect the animals.
The wild boar population in this area of northeast China has more than doubled since 2000 (70,000 specimens were recorded last year) last year and many villagers have reported attacks on their homes and damage to their crops.
‘The public debate on the conflict between wildlife protection and farmers’ livelihoods is still going on, reports the Chinese news agency Xinhua. ‘Wildlife experts have suggested farmers dig moats to protect crops against attacks and the relocation of villagers.’
The wild boar (Sus scrofa) is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, and lives in woodlands across Central Europe, the Mediterranean and much of Asia. It can reach up to 300 kg in weight and can be up to 1.8 m long.
Xinhua News Agency