China: Around The Nation

Number of different mammal species found in China reaches record high

Researchers survey southern Tibet for first time and find animals that had never been recorded inside the country before

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 September, 2017, 1:40pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 September, 2017, 3:19pm

The number of species of mammals identified in China last year rose to a record high of 693, up from 673 in 2015, according to a report in a leading zoology magazine.

The study was published in Biodiversity Science, which is run by five Chinese institutions under the Chinese Academy of Science.

It was first time the journal’s researchers had conducted field research and recorded new species in southern Tibet, reported on Monday.

The 2016 study found that 21 species disappeared compared with 2015 but registered 41 new species.

Among the species new to China, 16 were found in southern Tibet.

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These included species more commonly found in south and Southeast Asia such as Rhinolophus subbadius, the little Nepalese horseshoe bat; the Hoolock hoolock, a type of gibbon and Nycticebus coucang, the Sunda slow loris.

China has a total of 146 endemic mammal species – meaning they are unique to the area – and they make up 21 per cent of the total of Chinese mammal species, the study said.

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Endemic species include the giant panda and white-lipped deer.

The study also said that China has the largest number of different species of mammals in the world.