It may be one of the most recognisable symbols of conservation, but efforts to protect the giant panda have failed to safeguard large mammals sharing its habitats, according to research published Monday showing dramatic declines of leopards and other predators. The giant panda has won the hearts of
The giant panda has won the hearts of animal lovers around the world and images of the bamboo-eating creature with its ink-blot eye patches have come to represent global efforts to protect biodiversity.Since conservation efforts began, China has cracked down on poachers, outlawed the trade in panda hides and mapped out dozens of protected habitats.
The strategy is considered one of the most ambitious and high-profile programmes to save a species from extinction -- and it worked.The panda was removed from the International Union for Conservation of Nature endangered species list in 2016 although it remains"vulnerable".
But a new study published on Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution has cast doubt over the idea that efforts to protect the panda automatically help all other animals in its territory.Researchers found that the leopard, snow leopard, wolf and dhole -- also known as the Asian wild dog -- have almost disappeared from the majority of giant panda protected habitats since the 1960s. headtopics.com
The findings"indicate the insufficiency of giant panda conservation for protecting these large carnivore species," said Sheng Li, of the School of Life Sciences at Peking University, who led the research.The authors compared survey data from the 1950s to 1970s with information from almost 8,000 camera traps taken between 2008 and 2018.
They found that leopards had disappeared from 81 percent of giant panda reserves, snow leopards from 38 percent, wolves from 77 percent and dholes from 95 percent.The predators face threats from poachers, logging and disease, the study found.The authors said a key challenge was that while pandas may have a home range of up to 13 square kilometres (5 square miles), the four large carnivores can roam across an area exceeding 100 square kilometres.
Sheng Li told AFP that individual panda reserves -- typically around 300-400 sq km -- are too small to support a"viable population of large carnivores like leopards or dholes".- 'Enormous charisma' -Panda conservation has helped protect other animals, he said, including small carnivores, pheasants and songbirds.
"Failing to safeguard large carnivore species does not erase the power of giant panda as an effective umbrella that has well sheltered many other species," he added.But he called for future conservation to see beyond a single species, or animals with"enormous charisma", to focus on broader restoration of natural habitats. headtopics.com
He said he hoped this can be achieved as part of a proposed new Giant Panda National Park, a long-term programme that would link up existing habitats over thousands of kilometres to allow isolated populations to mingle and potentially breed.The recovery of large carnivore populations would"increase the resilience and sustainability of the ecosystems not only for giant pandas but also for other wild species", the researcher added.
The IUCN estimates there are between 500 and 1,000 mature adult pandas in the Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu regions of China. Read more: Yahoo Singapore »
2 influencers face deportation from Bali over painted-on face mask prank
COVID-19: Face masks compulsory only in crowded public areas, says Malaysian ministerKUALA LUMPUR: The wearing of face masks is compulsory only in crowded public areas and on public transport, not in areas where physical distancing ...
COVID-19: Vietnam says it has no plans for widespread lockdownHANOI: Vietnam has no plans for a widespread COVID-19 lockdown and will only put areas considered epicentres under strict quarantine, the ...
'Major incident' declared in British city of Manchester to tackle COVID-19A major incident has been declared in the Manchester area of Britain, allowing the creation of a 'central command structure' to help tackle the ...
US COVID-19 'extraordinarily widespread', say White House expertsThe United States is in a new phase of the novel coronavirus outbreak with infections 'extraordinarily widespread' in rural areas as well as ...
Italy travel linked to 1 in 4 first virus cases outside China: studyPeople who had visited Italy accounted for more than a quarter of the first reported cases of the new coronavirus outside China, according to a new study that found most initial infections were linked to just three countries. Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used publicly-available
4 areas in Malaysia's Kedah under lockdown, 5 schools ordered to close amid rise in Covid-19 casesPETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Four sub-districts in the Malaysian state of Kedah have been put under the 'targeted enhanced move control order (MCO)' following the growing number of Covid-19 cases linked to the Sivagangga cluster in the state.. Read more at straitstimes.com.