Endangered milu deer thrive in China reserve as population tops 8,000

(Xinhua) 10:15, July 04, 2024

NANJING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- The population of milu, commonly known as Pere David's deer, has exceeded 8,000 for the first time in a national reserve in China dedicated to protecting this endangered species.

The Dafeng Milu National Nature Reserve in eastern Jiangsu Province welcomed 825 newborns this year after the calving season ended in June, according to the provincial forestry authorities.

The species endemic to China was believed to be extinct in the early 20th century. The deer gets its English name from a French missionary and naturalist who came to China in the 1800s and spread the news of this species to Europe.

The population of this endangered deer species has maintained healthy and steady growth in the reserve, increasing from 7,840 last year to 8,216 now.

The deer population in the reserve began to revive after 39 milu deer were gifted by the British government in 1986.

According to Xu Anhong, of the reserve administration, when the reserve was first established, there were no water facilities, roads, or power supply in the area. However, 38 years later, the coastal tidal zone has been transformed into a lush oasis.

"We didn't know what the deer liked to eat, so we tried different grass varieties and observed their behavior," Xu said.

At present, the population of milu deer in China has exceeded 12,000, accounting for more than 80 percent of the global total.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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