Ongoing threats to the panda's survival
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.