Hungry pandas to be moved to new food source
Nature preserve workers in northwest China's Gansu Province have formulated a rescue plan to save giant pandas from food shortage caused by arrow bamboo flowering.
Zhang Kerong, director of the Baishuijiang State Nature Preserve, said that the preserve will intervene and help giant pandas find new food source.
Zhang said that at the end of a life of arrow bamboo, a favorite of giant pandas, the plant will flower, seed and die. The giant pandas will not eat the bamboo after it blooms and it takes 10 years for a new supply to grow. The bamboo blooming in the early 1980s caused the deaths of about 250 giant pandas.
Zhang said that 22 giant pandas living in the Bikou and Rangshuihe areas, where much of the bamboo is blooming, are currently under the threat of starvation.
Workers in the preserve will move old and weak giant pandas and lure fit pandas to a new habitats, Zhang said.
As of late last year, the flowering bamboo covered more than 7, 000 hectares of the nature preserve. And the blooming area has continued to expand.
The nature preserve, occupying about 220,000 hectares, has 102 giant pandas living wild.
Currently, more than 1,500 giant pandas live in the wild in the country, according to a survey by the State Forestry Administration.
In Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces, two other habitats of giant pandas, arrow bamboo was also found blooming.
The Baishuijiang preserve and local governments have enhanced education about giant panda protection and asked locals not to harm the animals if hungry giant pandas enter villages to look for food.
Zhang said that the preserve will dispatch frequent patrols and rescue giant pandas in danger of starvation.