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Critically endangered amphibian population rises in Xinjiang

  URUMQI, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The population of Xinjiang's critically endangered ranodon sibiricus, a primitive amphibian with an evolution history dating back to the age of dinosaurs, rises to 3,000 due to improved wildlife habitat.

  The species number increased by over 200 in 2018 over the previous year, said Ji Xiaowei with a ranodon sibiricus natural reserve in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

  Ranodon sibiricus only lives in the border area between China and Kazakhstan. China's amphibians are spotted in six major mountain wetlands near western Xinjiang's Bortala River.

  Ji said experts in the reserve in Wenquan county have intensified their inspection and remote monitoring over the amphibians, and their years of efforts in returning grazing land to grasslands have contributed to the increasing numbers.

  The reserve also prohibits the entry into the core conservation area without permission and imposes restrictions on grazing and feeding. Rewards are offered for acts of ecological protection.

  The reserve's wetland areas, the amphibian's habitat, have increased, and the dried springs have begun to flow with less degenerated grassland over the years, said Ji.