The forestry administration of China's southern-most island province of Hainan announced on Sunday that it will launch a survey of wildlife on and around the South China Sea Islands.
The one-month survey is China's first of its kind covering the entire ecosystem of the South China Sea Islands.
The investigation, part of a nation-wide survey, is to be launched later this year, the administration said in a statement, without giving the exact timetable.
The survey will cover marine life, birds and amphibians on the islands and their neighboring waters, according to the statement.
Researchers will work to establish a database and develop an information management system with the survey materials so as to help better protect the wildlife and habitats in the area, said Jiang Haisheng, a project researcher.
"We welcome non-governmental environmentalists and volunteers to join our investigation," added Jiang, also professor of life science at South China Normal University.