©WWF-Canon/Susan A. MAINKA
- conversion of forests to agricultural areas,
- medicinal herb collection,
- bamboo harvesting,
- large-scale development activities such as road construction, hydropower development, and mining.
An international symbol of conservation since WWF’s founding in 1961, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) which numbers around 1,600 in the wild, faces an uncertain future. Its forest habitat in the mountainous areas of southwest China has become fragmented, creating a number of small and isolated populations. WWF has been active in giant panda conservation for nearly three decades by working working with the Chinese government to protect habitats through the creation of reserves and to help local communities become less dependent on forest resources. Over half of the habitat where pandas live is now protected, and corridors are being established to connect key panda populations. But the 1,600 remaining wild pandas are still living in over 20 geographically separate areas, and infratructure development is on the increase, so there’s still much more to be done.
With only around 1600 Giant Panda's left in the world, this might sound a lot compared to other endangered species, but there is still much to do to preserve the population so that the next generation can see the Gian Panda in the wild and not only in zoo's. The main cause of the population decrease is because of China's need for extra land, and the Giant Panda's have a limited food supply that they need to survive on, which is being cultivated for more human needs.