Fragmented and isolated

Across the panda's range, habitat is broken into 20 isolated patches in Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan provinces and many panda populations are isolated in narrow belts of bamboo no more than 1,000-1,200m wide.
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.
 / ©: / Edwin Giesbers / WWF
© / Edwin Giesbers / WWF

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