BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) — Chinese researchers are using various science and technology methods to promote the conservation of wildlife diversity.

In 2021, China included 980 species of wild animals in the newly released wildlife protection list. Compared with the 256 species approved in 1988, the number of species has increased by 724, according to Qian Fawen, a researcher from the Ecology and Nature Conservation Institute under the Chinese Academy of Forestry.

He pointed out that scientific and technological research plays a key role in wildlife species protection.

Through scientific research, researchers can figure out the core problems of wildlife conservation, identify the pathogenesis, and then carry out targeted conservation actions, said Du Hao, a researcher at the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute.

In addition, sci-tech supports allow researchers to use technical measures to promote the effective implementation of relevant conservation actions, he said.

The crested ibis, with its iconic red crest and long black beak, was in the past widely distributed across East Asia and Russia’s Siberia. It was thought to be extinct in China until seven wild birds appeared in Yangxian County, Shaanxi, in 1981.

Over the past 40 years, Chinese scientists have carried out much research on crested ibis protection, such as artificial propagation technology, individual rewilding, gene diversity, reproductive ecology, and conservation biology, which contributed to the conservation of the crested ibis, said Qian.

He noted that the number of crested ibises in China stands at more than 8,000, and the population of wild crested ibis has also exceeded 6,000, which means the crested ibis, an internationally endangered species, rids itself from the fate of extinction.

In the past, fish monitoring in waters only relied on fishing, and only when fish are taken out of the water can information such as the quantity and species of fish in the river be known. This monitoring method was inefficient and harmful to fish, and the different fishing tools would also affect the sampling results, said Wu Jinming, an associate researcher from the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute.

He said environmental DNA technology is now used to survey and monitor fish. By collecting small amounts of water samples from rivers and analyzing the fish residual DNA, researchers can determine the composition of fish in the relevant waters.

Du Hao believes that the analysis of the threatened mechanism of wild animals and plants should strengthen, and scientific research should be carried out on population rejuvenation technologies such as cell cloning and reproductive stem cell transplantation and restoration of endangered species, as well as ecological restoration technologies such as habitat restoration and reconstruction.