Forest of endangered trees found in SW China

(Xinhua) 14:53, June 21, 2024

CHONGQING, June 20 (Xinhua) -- A large-scale concentrated distribution of wild thuja sutchuenensis, an endangered species of gymnosperm endemic to China and under national first-class protection, was recently found.

The forest of wild thuja sutchuenensis was spotted during a survey in Chengkou County of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. The survey is jointly conducted by Chongqing Dabashan national nature reserve and Southwest University.

It is preliminarily estimated that the discovery consists of more than 5,000 plants belonging to over 60 populations, spreading across an area of approximately 4,000 mu (about 266.67 hectares).

According to the research team, the trees are healthy and some of them are more than 100 years old, with a maximal trunk diameter reaching 70 cm at chest height.

In 1998, the International Union for Conservation of Nature declared thuja sutchuenensis extinct, but the species was rediscovered in Chengkou County in 1999.

In recent years, Chengkou County has stepped up efforts to protect and cultivate the thuja sutchuenensis. Currently, the county has restored a total of more than 53 hectares of the plant within its natural habitats. 

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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