LHASA, July 19 (Xinhua) — Tibet Autonomous Region, a natural habitat for many species of wildlife in southwest China, has spent 730 million yuan (109 million U.S. dollars) to compensate residents for damage caused by wild animals, local forestry authorities said.
Thanks to the improved environment, the populations of wild animals on the plateau have grown, resulting in increased interactions with herders and farmers, according to Zongga, deputy director of the regional forestry department.
The regional government started piloting the compensation scheme in 2006 and expanded it to all areas in 2010. Most of the compensation was funded by the government, while the rest was provided by insurance companies.
The measure protects the interests of residents with an aim to prevent them from hurting the animals causing the damage such as bears, yaks, leopards, and sheep, Zongga said.
The populations of Tibetan antelopes and yaks, both protected species, have increased to some 200,000 and 10,000 respectively in the region.