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Government Moves to Protect Rainforest
China has set up a national nature reserve to protect the rainforest on the South China Sea island of Hainan, the country's second largest island.

The largest and best preserved tropical rainforest in China is found in the reserve, which covers 20,000 hectares.

About 2,800 types of plants grow in the reserve, 31 of which are rare and endangered species. Vegetation is divided into seven categories, ranging from plants at beach level to those growing on the reserve's highest mountain at 1,412 metres above sea level.

Living there are some 68 species of mammals, 215 bird species, 38 amphibians, 50 reptiles and over 4,000 insect species, of which 449 species are butterflies.

As the tropical area with the highest biological diversity in China, the reserve is regarded as a gene bank.

(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2002)

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