BEIJING, November 16, Chinadaily -- China owned 2,750 natural reserves across the country at the end of September 2019, data from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) showed.

key program 11.21 China owns 2750 natural reserves

A mangrove forest natural preserve in Haikou, Hainan province. [Photo/VCG]

China's natural reserves cover a total area of 1.47 million square kilometers, accounting for 15 percent of the country's land territory, according to a statement on the administration's website.

The reserves are home to 35 million hectares of natural forest and around 20 million hectares of natural wetland, protecting 90.5 percent of terrestrial ecosystem types, 85 percent of wild animal and plant types as well as 65 percent of higher plant communities.

More than 300 wild animals and 130 wild plants under the country's key protection are preserved, enhancing the country's biodiversity, the NFGA said.

China's rare and endangered animals thrive in the reserves, with the number of wild crested ibis surging from seven to more than 2,000, that of gray snub-nosed monkey growing 1.5 times to more than 750 and the number of Asian elephants rising from 170 to more than 230.

China designated Dinghu Mountain, which lies in southern China's Guangdong province, as its first natural reserve in 1956 to protect forests.