The original list was published in 1989 and was only updated once when musk deer and pangolin here uplisted to Category I in 2003.
On the 5th of February 2021, it was officially announced that the State Council approved the long - awaited update to the List of Wildlife under Special State Protection made by National Forestry and Grassland Administration and the Ministry of Agriculture.
517 new species were added to the list - 43 to Category I and 474 to Category II. The new list now has 980 species. Out of these 234 species are of Category I protection, 746 species are Category II.
The new additions to Category I include all species of precious corals. All species of hard coral, thorn coral, blue coral, several species of gorgonian soft coral, as well as 15 species of Hydrozoans were added to Category II.
Large spotted civet was added to Category I, and wolf to category II. Dhole (red wolf) and Yangtze river dolphin, previously Category II, were upgraded to Category I.
Brown bear, ibex and Burmese python were downgraded to Category II.
Species listed in Category I are afforded the highest degree of protection. Trade, hunting and keeping of these species in captivity are forbidden, as are trade, manufacture, transportation and sale of products made from them.
However, capture, killing, and trade in Category I and II species is allowed, under the law, for special purposes, such as scientific research, population control, and epidemic monitoring. Breeding for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is also legal if the operation is licensed.