Habitat loss - a real estate crisis

Logged area. Minshan Mountains, Sichuan, China. rel=
Before logging was banned in 1998 large areas of panda habitat were lost.
© WWF China

Pandas need land

Bamboo, the panda's primary source of food, only grows at an altitude of between 500 and 3,100m. A pair of breeding pandas needs a minimum of around 30 km2 to support them.

Much of the lower land has been claimed for agriculture so most of the habitat is now confined to above 1,400m, but this area too is now under pressure from human activities.

A lot of the panda's mountainous bamboo habitat has been destroyed by logging. In the Sichuan Province alone it shrank by 50% between 1974 and 1989. The Chinese government banned logging in the panda's habitat in 1998.
 / ©: naturepl.com / Edwin Giesbers / WWF
© naturepl.com / Edwin Giesbers / WWF
Large areas of natural forest in the panda habitat have been cleared for:
  • timber,
  • agriculture,
  • fuel wood for heating and cooking,
  • infrastructure for a growing population, and
  • hydropower development.
Logging truck. Wolong Narure Reserve, Sichuan province, China. / ©: (c) WWF / Soh Koon CHNG
Logging is one of the threats facing China's nature reserves. Wolong Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, China Project
© (c) WWF / Soh Koon CHNG

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