Problems

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, and
  • 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.
 / ©: (c) WWF-Canon / Michel GUNTHER
Grazing cattle is problematic within the giant panda reserve. Mixed forest in the mist in the background. Giant panda habitat. Wanglang Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, China
© (c) WWF-Canon / Michel GUNTHER

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