Fragmented and isolated
Within these patches, a network of nature reserves provides protection for more than half of the panda population.
Because pandas cannot migrate between these far-flung habitat blocks, they have less flexibility to find new feeding areas during periodic bamboo die-off episodes. Bamboo die-back is a natural phenomenon that occurs every 15-120 years, depending on the type of bamboo.
Small, isolated populations also face a greater risk of inbreeding, which can lead to reduced resistance to disease, less adaptability to environmental changes and reproductive problems.
Pandas stand a much greater chance of extinction if they remain isolated from each other.