Giant Panda : How China's Economic Growth Affects Populations

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Giant Panda: How China’s Economic Growth Affects Populations

Young panda approaching through the bushes
[Fritz Poelking, 2008]

Daniel Quiroga
English 110
Dawn Service
5 April 2012

Giant Panda: How China’s Economic Growth Affects Populations

Daniel Quiroga
English 110
Dawn Service
5 April 2012

Summary
       Giant Panda is a bear native to central-western and south western China and it is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. The number of pandas living in the wild is approximately 1590 with most of its population living between the Qinling and Minshan Mountains. A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. The panda’s habitat is in the broadleaf and coniferous forests with a dense understory of bamboo at elevations between 5,000 and 10,000 feet. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo and in the wild it will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. Giant pandas reach sexual maturity between the ages of four and eight and their mating season is between March and May, when a female goes into her estrous cycle which lasts for two or three days and only occurs once a year. China’s economy has grown substantially since 1960. The population of the second largest economy in the world shot up by 73 million people over the past decade. New data from the National Bureau of Statistics show that of China’s 1.35 billion people, 51.3% lived in urban areas at the end of 2011. In the past five decades and more, major industrial products have increased by dozens or even hundreds of times, and many industrial products have been sold all over the world. Since 1996, China has led the world in the production of steel, coal, cement, farm-use chemical fertilizers and television sets. As these industries increase, the area needed to house them also increases. Since the 1960’s, the giant panda’s habitat has shrunk by half. Human activities such as logging, expansion of farming into forest areas, mining, and road-building are the greatest threat to the giant panda population. A lot of the panda's mountainous bamboo habitat has been destroyed by logging as well. Are of these things are a result of the demand to create new housing, roads and railways for the growing human population and industries. Great efforts are being made to preserve to preserve the giant panda by the government of China and the organizations like World Wild Life Fund.

Table of Contents

Summary………………………………………………………………………………………..i

Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………………...ii

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………….1

Giant Panda……………………………………………………………………………………1
Size and Appearance…………………………………………………………………2
Habitat & Distribution………...............................................................................2
Eating Habits…………………………………………………………………………..3 Social Structure and Reproduction………………………………………………….4

China’s Economic Growth……………………………………………………………………4
Population………………………………………………………………………………4
Industry…………………………………………………………………………………6

The Effect of China’s Economic Growth on Giant Pandas……………………………….6 Endangerment of Giant Panda Populations and the Efforts to Preserve Them……….6

Conclusions……………………………………………………………………………………7

References…………………………………………………………………………………….8 Introduction

The giant panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world’s most threatened animals. The Panda shares habitat with millions of people in the Yangtze Basin region, which is the geographic and economic heart of China with principal economic activities like tourism, agriculture, transport, hydropower and water resources. With China’s rapid economic growth, the future of the panda remains uncertain. Activities such as the building roads and rail roads are fragmenting the panda’s...
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