The Giant Panda Conservation Project
Although pandas are highly regarded and have a relatively low number of natural predators, they are an endangered species. Humans have severely threatened the panda's existence also so that now there are fewer than 1,600 of them left in the wild. This peaceful creature with a distinctive black and white coat is adored by the world and considered a national treasure in China (WWF, 2013). The bear also is of special importance to the World Wildlife Fund. The panda has been WWF's logo since its founding in 1961. This paper will examine the effectiveness of, and problems related to, the giant panda conservation efforts. The rarest member of the bear family, pandas live mainly in bamboo forests high in the mountains of western China, where they subsist almost entirely on bamboo. They must eat from 26 to 84 pounds of it every day. China’s Yangtze Basin region, which holds the panda’s primary habitat, is the geographic and economic heart of this booming country. An increasing number of roads and railroads are being created throughout the forest, which isolates panda populations and prevents mating. Forest destruction also reduces pandas’ ability to access the bamboo they need to survive. The Chinese government has established more than 50 panda reserves. However, only around 61 per cent of the country’s panda population is protected by these reserves. With the help of conservation organizations and other groups, they have protected more than 45 per cent of the last mountainous regions, equaling over 6,000 square miles of mountain and forest terrain known to be inhabited by wild pandas. They have also set aside corridors of new bamboo for their protection from domesticated animal grazing, and human interference (International, 2013). Chengdu is known for being the hometown of the giant panda. Back in 1987, when it became apparent that pandas were seriously endangered in...
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