If you were ever skeptical that reforestation could help bring back rare and endangered animals, China has something they’d like to show you. While some parts of the world are losing forest at an alarming pace, China has set a goal of increasing forests by 23% over the course of the decade. There are some great benefits to the project, including cleaner air, less soil erosion, and the potential to increase ecotourism money. One thing that may help the last item along is that animal experts in the Ziwuling Forest Area in Yan’an, Shannxi province, northwestern China have noticed the new forests have also started to attract rare animals which had previously disappeared.
Some of the rare animals that have re-appeared include the largest population of North-Chinese leopards ever recorded in the region as well as golden pheasants, wild boars, roe deer, ocelots, and red foxes. In total, researchers have identified “263 different species, including eight critically endangered species and 29 threatened species.”