China has officially approved plans for a huge National Park that will help protect endangered big cats.
Siberian (Amur) Tiger
Plans to establish a huge 5,600 square mile national park in the north-eastern corner of China have been approved by the Chinese government. Almost 2/3rds bigger than the USA’s Yellowstone national park, established in 1872, plans are being set to establish the new wildlife sanctuary by 2020.
Alongside giant pandas, Asian elephants and Tibetan antelope, the national park aims to secure the protection of two critically endangered big cats. The Siberian tiger (also known as the Amur tiger) and the Amur leopard are set to be established within the park’s boundaries. In 2015, just 27 Siberian tigers were reportedly living in the area now expected to house the national park. Global populations of wild Amur leopards were averaged to be less than 30 in 2007, and although the work of conservation groups such as WWF has allowed that number to almost double in recent years, further action must be taken to pull these astounding big cats back from the brink. China’s new park could offer just that.
As the New York Times reported in 2015, China’s new national park could also lead to a peak in tourism. One of America’s greatest tourist attractions lies in its natural parks and wildlife sanctuaries, and China is now “trying to do with some of its natural spaces what the United States did during its own industrial boom.” The increased tourism and impressive sanctuary for national wildlife brings a string of benefits for China.
Yellowstone national park in the US has helped to conserve wildlife and natural landscapes for 145 years this year. A similar establishment in China will follow in Yellowstone’s footsteps to help preserve some of our planet’s most spectacular species.