Effects of roads on giant panda distribution: a mountain range scale evaluation
- Analysis of 78.7% of global panda habitat has been surveyed to assess the ipact of both major and provinical roads.
- This research showed that panda populations up to 5km from national roads were effected by the presence of the road, and those populations up to 1.5km from provincial roads.
- Researchers found that in effected areas, panda populations lessened due to reduction in forest cover.
Information sourced from Scientific Reports: Open Access Article
Creating a panda national park - is it the best solution?
The Panda National Park in China aims to support the protection of large areas of panda habitat, and prior to the park giant panda populations were split across 67 reserves.
- The national park will connect 13 populations, equating to 70% of wild panda but the 15 most at risk populations are not included in the area of the new national park.
- There are also concerns that the creation of the national park will create a 'tourist hotspot' and this will further disturb panda populations.
Information sourced from:
Forestry and Logging
Reports sugggest that although panda numbers are increasing, logging and agricultural industry have resulted in the loss of approximately 1280 hectates of viable panda habitat.
- Critics shared that they felt loopholes in laws meant that illegal logging has continued, placing 16.8% of wild panda at risk.
- Other researchers indicate that they believe that additional areas of suitable habitat are also likely to shrink as a result of land use and or reduction in bamboo availability.
Information sourced from Climate change not the only threat to giant pandas, study says
Climate change predictions have pointed to a reduction in the availability of bamboo in panda habitat.
Bamboo is climate sensitive and requires cooler temperatures, meaning bamboo forests will need to grow at higher elevations to survive.
This will force pandas to move into a smaller area.
Recent droughts in 2022 also highlight the effect of climate change in the Sichuan provice, home to 80 million people.
We often think of hydro-electric power as being a noble and sustainable energy source, however harnessing the power of water is not without it's controversies. In the long run do the benefits outway the risks?
- Direct issues include habitat fragmentation - panda populations are split by the damming of rivers to create reservoirs and this can mean that pandas are becoming increasingly isolated. There is also the direct risk to pandas who try to
cross these large bodies of water.
- In recent years, large damming projects such as the 3 gorges dam, have lead to large amounts of reservoir flooding, reducing waterflow to some areas and is even alleged to have altered climate patterns.
49% of panda habitat has been lost - especially at lower altitudes areas from 2004 - 2017, due to impacts of livestock.
- Loss of income because of the policies. Natural Forest Conservation Project and Grain for Green projects
- Reduced tourists because of dam construction and 2008 earthquake
- Encouraged horse riding practice during the development of CDP have contributed to the increasing dependence on livestock sector.
Information sourced from Conservation of endemic species in China