China is a vast country with a wide range of natural habitats, spanning from the high plateau of the Gobi Desert to the rugged mountains of the Himalayas to the river deltas of the Yangtze. Within these habitats one finds many unique but endangered species: snow leopards, lynx, tiger, wolf, brown bear, Tibetan gazelle, Yangtze river dolphin, and of course, the iconic giant panda.
Habitat loss has left pandas and many other species clinging for survival (there are only an estimated 1,600 pandas in the wild in China) as large areas of natural forest have been cleared for agriculture, timber and fuelwood.
Other environmental problems facing China include air and water pollution, desertification and high levels of carbon emissions. By 2025, many scientists believe that China will be the world’s leading producer of greenhouse gases.