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Wanglang Nature Reserve - Panda Threats and Protection

Reserve Staff on Patrol

Major Threats to the Panda 

1. Destruction of the panda's natural habitat. In the eleven years from 1973 to 1984, suitable panda habitat shrunk by 50 per cent in six isolated, but otherwise ideal, areas. A 1998 logging ban implemented by the Chinese government helped to slow the habitat destruction, but poaching and illegal logging are still a problem.

2. Interruption of migration routes. Bamboo, the Panda's main food, flowers (produces seeds and dies) once every 10 to 100 years depending on the species. When the bamboo in one area flowers, pandas have to move to areas that have not flowered. Historically, it was easy for pandas to move from one area to another, but now it is not. Human population has expanded, roads and settlements have been built, and forests have been cleared for agriculture, fuelwood, and timber. These changes make panda migration difficult, often leaving pandas restricted to "islands of forest."

3. Consumption of Wild Meat Although pandas are occasionally hunted for their pelts, most pandas that are injured or killed by poachers are inadvertently harmed when the pandas are caught in traps meant for musk deer, takin, bear, and other animals.  Wild meat is sold in the markets and restaurants in cities nearby the reserve. Eating wild meat in China is a threat to panda survival. (Note, pandas are not sought for use in traditional Chinese medicine.)


Wanglang Protects the Giant Panda by:

        Patrolling the Reserve for poachers and sick or injured pandas.

        Protecting the forests as a key habitat area.

        Educating visitors about panda protection and environmental issues.

        Supporting panda research.

        Providing a corridor for panda migration between adjacent panda habitats.

        Educating local residents about the value of conserving pandas.

        Supporting economic development of local communities to minimize their need to use panda habitat for to provide for their livelihood.


How You Can Protect Pandas

        Know and follow the regulations of the Reserve.

        Don't purchase or eat any kind of wild meat.

        Make a donation to panda conservation at Wanglang Nature Reserve

        Purchase souvenirs at the Reserve, a portion of which supports panda conservation programs at Wanglang.

        Join an environmental organization to protect wildlife.

        Tell a friend about Wanglang and panda protection.


Published by Wanglang Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, China.

Last updated January 22, 2001. Send comments to: roger_ratcliff@hotmail.com