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Population of endangered Gobi bears exceeds 50 in Mongolia

ULAN BATOR, May 27 (Xinhua) -- The population of Mongolia's critically endangered Gobi bears (Mazaalai) has exceeded 50, Bat-Ulzii Bat-Erdene, the Mongolian minister of environment and tourism, has said.

Only 36 Gobi bears remained in the world at the end of 2018, according to the Institute of General and Experimental Biology at the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.

While releasing the update, the minister appreciated China's help on Mazaalai protection as the two countries signed an agreement on the implementation of a technical assistance project in 2018 to save Mazaalai and improve their range.

"Thanks to the technical support of China and joint efforts of experts from our two countries, the conservation and breeding of Mazaalai has achieved some results. According to the latest reliable information we have, there are now a total of 51 Mazaalai in Mongolia," Bat-Erdene told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Within the framework of the project, the two sides have carried out works such as placing dietary supplements in feeding stations and installing surveillance cameras to identify Gobi bears.

Gobi bears, whose habitats have shrunk dramatically compared with the 1950s and 1960s, persist as a unique ecotype in the Gobi Desert of southwestern Mongolia, according to Gobi Bear Project, a non-profit organization focusing on the protection of the endangered species.