Home / China / Across America

Reserves expanded to protect panda's habitat, building banned

By Su Zhou | China Daily USA | Updated: 2015-03-02 11:07

 Reserves expanded to protect panda's habitat, building banned

The wild panda population is fragmented into 33 isolated populations. Jin Siliu / for China Daily

China will continue its efforts to protect giant pandas by expanding nature reserves and forbidding all kinds of construction and development in their habitats and surrounding areas.

The State Forestry Administration, China's wildlife watchdog, released results of the Fourth National Survey on Giant Pandas on Saturday. Despite the increase of both population and habitat area, the survey said economic development remains a threat to the preservation of the rare animal and its habitat.

The survey said habitat fragmentation is the major factor threatening the survival of giant pandas. Due to geographic isolation and human intervention, the wild population is fragmented into 33 isolated populations. Twenty-four of those have fewer than 100 pandas and are at high risk.

The major disturbances in the habitats of wild giant pandas include 319 hydropower plants, 1,339 kilometers of road and 268.7 kilometers of high-voltage transmission lines.

Chen Fengxue, deputy head of the administration, said the situation is still alarming and they will continue efforts to protect the habitats.

"Now about 42 percent of panda habitat is not included in the network of nature reserves. We will establish new ones and expand old ones, trying to include all habitats and surrounding areas into the network," said Chen.

"At the same time, we will connect and bridge the fragmented, isolated wild panda populations," added Chen.

By the end of 2013, the population of giant pandas across the country had reached 1,864, an increase of 16.8 percent. The number doesn't include cubs younger than 18 months. Nearly 75 percent of wild pandas live in Sichuan province.

At the same time, the total area of their territory reached 25,800 square kilometers, an increase of 11.8 percent.

Fan Zhiyong, WWF China's species program director, said human intervention has broken the habitat into fragments.

"If the habitat is cut by a railway or other form of transportation network, then it could not be bridged easily," Fan said.

Fan suggested the protection of habitats needs an overall panda management network.

"The fragmented habitats in different provinces now belong to different government bodies to manage, which leaves room for construction and other human activities that can destroy the habitats," said Fan.



Polar icebreaker Snow Dragon arrives in Antarctic
Xi's vision on shared future for humanity
Air Force units explore new airspace
Premier Li urges information integration to serve the public
Dialogue links global political parties
Editor's picks
Beijing limits signs attached to top of buildings across city
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349