Factsheet: Giant Panda
As China's economy continues its rapid development, it is more important than ever to conserve the forest home of the giant panda - not just to safeguard this well-loved species, but to maintain the subsistence fisheries, agriculture, and water resources essential for nearly 40 per cent of China’s people.
WWF considers the giant panda as a 'flagship' species: that is, a charismatic representative of the biologically rich temperate forest it inhabits. By conserving the giant panda and its habitat, many other species will also be conserved - as will water resources that are essential for the future of hundreds of millions of people.
WWF has been active in giant panda conservation since 1980, and was the first international conservation organization to work in China at the Chinese government's invitation. Early work included the first-ever intensive field studies of wild panda ecology and behaviour.