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Wild Yangtze Alligator Population in China Diminishes

HEFEI, September 13 -- A recent national survey shows the number of Yangtze Alligators living in the wild across China has fallen to less than 150, on the verge of extinction.

The majority of these Yangtze Chinese alligators, a creature that has been included on the most endangered species list, live in east China's Anhui and Zhejiang provinces. The number of alligators in Anhui has decreased from 3,000 in the 1960s to the present number of 143.

Most of the alligators live in groups ranging from two to five in number. The largest group is composed of 10 or 11 alligators.

If the habitat of Yangtze alligators is not expanded, they are likely to disappear from the wild in the next 10 years, said a Yangtze expert.

To ensure a gradual and sustainable growth of the Yangtze alligator population, China has reproduced more than 10,000 Yangtze alligators through artificial means in recent years. The Anhui alligator reproduction center, the largest of its kind in the world, houses 9,000 alligators.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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