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December 23, 2009

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Newcomers to Shanghai: 16 badgers

FENGXIAN District forest authorities have introduced 16 badgers - the biggest wildlife to be found in Shanghai - from other provinces to prevent the animal's extinction in the city, officials said yesterday.

A recent investigation showed Shanghai having no more than 30 badgers.

Hunting and loss of habitat have caused the badger population to drop rapidly in the city, said the Fengxian District Forest Office.

"We carried out a similar investigation in 2007, finding some traces of badgers in Songjiang and Jiading districts," said Chu Kelong, director of the office.

"But this year, some of the trace has disappeared, such as in Xidu area in Fengxian and West Sheshan area in Songjiang."

With urban development, some forest was moved or destroyed, Chu said. Hunters were also a big threat to the small animals.

The badgers coming to the city from Zhejiang and Shandong provinces will be kept in captivity for some time and released into the forest gradually from September to December.

The office will monitor them.


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