April 20, 2009

Endangered Chinese Alligator Multiplying

The population of China's rare and endangered Yangtze alligator is anticipated to double to 300 in the next five to 10 years.

At present there are 120 alligators propagating in a larger region than there were only five years ago, Wang Chaolin of the Chinese Alligators Protection Nature Reserve stated to Xinhua news agency on Sunday.

"We have for the first time found wild baby alligators. Normally their survival rate is only two percent," Wang said. "The finding of the infants indicates the number of the species is increasing."

Wang noted that the steps taken, like the fortification of infant alligators and the freeing of confined alligators into to the wild, are aiding the revival of the animal from almost extinction.

The Yangtze alligator, commonly called the Chinese alligator, was at one time abundant, predominantly around China's eastern seaboard, Xinhua stated.

However, pollution, the climate change and humans have caused it to become highly endangered.

"I'm confident the number will reach 300 in the future," Wang said. "But humans are still the biggest threat to the animal."

China has labeled the Chinese alligator a protected species.

The Chinese Alligator Breeding Research Center was established in Anhui 30 years ago. As a result, the amount of captive alligators at the center has ascended from 200 to 10,000.