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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China has added 517 species to its list of major protected wild animals, part of its campaign in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to end the wild animal trade and destruction of habitats.
A joint statement on Friday by the forestry and agriculture ministries said adjusting the list had become “extremely urgent” because of recent changes in China’s wildlife situation. A total of 980 wild animals are now under state protection.
The ministries promised to work with local governments to identify and protect the habitats of the animals added to the list, which include the endangered large-spotted civet and several species of birds that have dwindled in number in recent years.
Those who hunt and traffic the animals face fines and even custodial sentences for “level one” protected species, such as the critically endangered panda, pangolin and Yangtze finless…
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