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August 1, 2009

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Oroqens to take up hunting again

CHINA is to build a nature preserve for ethnic Oroqens to allow them to resume their traditional life of hunting.

Liu Xiaochun, an associate researcher with the Ethnology and Anthropology Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the government of Aihui District, Heihe City of northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province, a major habitat for Oroqens, had approved a framework for the preserve.

"The Oroqens could follow the tradition of hunting again in designated areas after the government persuaded them out of their 'primitive ways of life' more than 10 years ago," he said at the 16th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences in Yunnan Province.

The designated area will cover 600 square kilometers, where 166 Oroqens in Heihe are living, he said. "If the plan works well, it will expand to other Oroqen regions."

There are around 8,000 Oroqens, one of the country's smallest ethnic groups. They bid farewell to hunting life and shifted to farming in the early 1990s to answer the Chinese government's call to protect wild animals and improve their living conditions.

As most Oroqen regions are not suitable for growing crops, many Oroqens had to live on government subsidies.

According to a survey, 95 percent of Oroqens support the idea of setting up a preserve.


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