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Wild west calls for volunteers

Wild west calls for volunteers

Updated: 2012-04-12 07:25

(Xinhua/China Daily)

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The remote Hoh Xil nature reserve on western China's Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is seeking volunteers to help protect its endangered Tibetan antelopes and other wildlife species.

The volunteers will spend a month in the vast expanse of uninhabited land patrolling mountains, rivers and lakes, to stop poachers and help rescue wild animals in danger. They will also promote public awareness of eco-conservation, said Tseten, head of the Hoh Xil national nature reserve administration.

He said all applicants must be aged under 45 and have sufficient field skills to survive the tough plateau environment at an altitude above 5,000 meters.

"The ideal candidates should also have a professional background, preferably in environmental protection, biology, radio or satellite communication," Tseten added.

He said the administration was yet to decide how many volunteers it would recruit. "We'll see how many are qualified."

The volunteers will join forestry workers and wildlife preservation specialists for the month-long job, at the end of which they have to submit a report.

Applications opened on Wednesday at the administration's website at, and the first group of volunteers will start work on May 1.

They will be followed by five more teams, the last of which will end the mission on Oct 31.

Hoh Xil began recruiting volunteers for mountain patrols in 2002. To date, more than 400 people from 28 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have joined the campaign. The volunteers come from different walks of life, including reporters, teachers, students, medical workers, lawyers, environmentalists, business people and Buddhist monks.

"We hope more international volunteers will join the campaign this year, so people from across the globe will understand the importance of the plateau environment," said Tseten.

International volunteers will need to register at the State Forestry Administration and with foreign affairs authorities before embarking on the Hoh Xil trip.

Hoh Xil nature reserve, also known as Hoh Xil, encompasses China's largest area of uninhabited land and is home to several species of endangered wildlife, including Tibetan antelopes.

The region became well known following the release of the award-winning feature film, Hoh Xil Mountain Patrol, by Chinese director Lu Chuan. It tells the true story of a journalist who joined a Tibetan volunteer patrol to pursue poachers trading Tibetan antelope skins.