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The environment is better and there are more wild animals

In the middle of April, 2022, an infrared camera hanging in the forest captured wild animals such as snow leopard, red deer, wolf, fox and wild boar at a wildlife habitat in Biezhentaw Mountain, Wenquan County, Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China’s Xinjiang.

Flocks of ibexes gathered on the cliffs, or foraging or playing, or standing staring each other or lazily basking in the sun. They turned a blind eye to intruded human’s vehicles and allowed them to take pictures.

An infrared camera picture shows a snow leopard passing by.

In recent years, Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture has taken many measures to continuously strengthen the protection of wild animals and maintain biodiversity. Its good ecological environment provides better conditions for the reproduction and inhabiting of wild animals.

Photo shows ibexes on top of the mountains.

Ai Lin is a forest ranger of Talede Management and Protection Station of the State Forestry Administration of Haxia in Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China’s Xinjiang, and the Ai Lin family has been the forest rangers for three generations. As a young man, he was a tree cutter, but now he is a “tree protector”.

Photo shows the beautiful scenery of Haxia Tree Farm. (Photo from the photo gallery of Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture)

With the implementation of the natural forest protection project, the forest area where Ai Lin works has been rehabilitated. His identity transformation is a microcosm of the transformation of the national industrial structure. Now, Ai Lin and his wife are both forest rangers, and his wife cleans up the station inside and out. There are cars and motorcycles in the yard, and horses outside. They drive a car to shop in the city and ride horses or motorcycles to patrol in the mountains. Now his main work is to check fire hazards and pay attention to forest diseases and insect pests. “Protecting trees and mountains are all contributions to the country”, Ai Lin is gratified by the development of environment protection. “Now the environment is better and there are more wild animals. Look at the ibexes. They are not afraid of people at all.”

Photo shows a flock of ibexes play on top of the mountains. (Photo from the photo gallery of Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture)

Just over a decade, the forests have been recuperated after the total cessation of logging, the ecological environment has been significantly improved, and the mountains and rivers have taken on a new look.

An infrared camera picture shows a fox passing by.

In order to protect natural forests and wild animals, Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture has implemented a series of scientific and technological means such as remote monitoring, infrared detection and UAV patrol to ensure that the ecological environment will not be damaged and the habitat of wild animals not disturbed. From 2017 to 2019, Forestry and Grassland Administration of Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture launched the scientific investigation of forest resources in the southern mountainous area, and found that wild animals and plant resources in the southern mountainous area of Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture are very rich, with 1157 species of wild vascular plants belonging to 424 genera in 80 families and 338 species of vertebrates.

An infrared camera picture shows a red deer passing by.

In addition to strengthening the protection in forest areas, the forest law enforcement agencies in Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture have also enhanced people's awareness of ecological and environmental protection in an all-round way through visit, publicity, irregular inspection and other activities.

In 2021, according to the clues provided by the public, the border management detachment of Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture rescued and treated more than 80 national first-class and second-class protected animals, many of which are national key protected animals.