About Blog

The reason I’m making this blog is because I feel strongly about the critically endangered animals that we could lose in our lifetime, the fact that the next generation might miss out on seeing or knowing about some of these species is worrying, like my generation did for the Javan Tiger. My aim is to raise awareness of this issue by focusing on a number of animals on the endangered species list. It is my hope that gaining public attention through my work, will inspire positive steps towards combating this ongoing problem.

Animals biased on the WWF's Top Ten Critically Endangered Species (http://www.wwf.org.uk/news_feed.cfm?3618/Ten-to-watch-in-2010)

Please note: This blog is for research and personal development towards a final piece for my University project.

Giant Panda

©WWF-Canon/Susan A. MAINKA
Ongoing threats to the panda's survival
Despite the conservation success in the panda's habitat in recent years problems still persist.

The major factors contributing to habitat loss and fragmentation — the most pressing threats to the giant panda — are: 

  • conversion of forests to agricultural areas,
  • medicinal herb collection,
  • bamboo harvesting,
  • poaching,
  • large-scale development activities such as road construction, hydropower development, and mining.
The illegal wildlife trade and the natural phenomenon of bamboo die-back are also threats. Because of China's dense and growing human population, many panda populations are isolated in narrow belts of bamboo no more than 1.2km wide — and panda habitat is continuing to disappear as settlers push higher up the mountain slopes.
In 2004, a survey counted 1,600 pandas - 40% more than were thought to exist in the 1980s

Giant Panda
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.