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Snow Leopard – The snow leopard is amongst China’s most endangered animals. while their pelts fetch as much as US$50,000 on the illegal fur market, their bones are also popular as a traditional Chinese medicinal remedy, factors which when Siberian tigers combined with decreasing habitat have seen their numbers dwindle. Now protected, and bred in captivity, some increase in numbers is being seen, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see them in the wilderness of their Gansu, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Tibetan Plateau ranges.

139) and China was eventually admitted to the World Trade Organization in 2002. Today’s Leadership In November 2002 a large party conference was held, the net result of which was the emergence of Hu Jintao as leader of the CCP and Wen Jibao as prime minister. Equally as committed to economic progress as their predecessors, Hu and Wen are a sign of the China to come – socialist doctrine remains only in political jargon, not in practice. Indeed Wen Jibao supported Zhang Ziyang in his sympathetic attitude with the 1989 protesters and as such there is some hope that China may proceed along moderate lines.

Crested Ibis – The crested ibis is among the 50 most endangered birds, with fewer than 250 mature individuals worldwide. There are none left in their native habitat in Japan, and only a handful breeding in the Qingling Mountains of China. The government has invested heavily in their preservation and, with help from the WWF, these beautiful birds may just survive. Golden Monkey – This small golden-coated monkey’s distinctive upturned nose has earned it a nickname of the ‘snub nose’ monkey. By the mid1980s it was estimated that only 200 were left in the wild, but, after successful breeding projects and aid from the government, their population has increased dramatically to over 800 in 2006.

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