A new study has found that the conservation areas protecting giant pandas in China are helping 100 other species, too.
• Researchers explain that China is making progress using its panda protections to save other species as well, but also point out some of the gaps that the country still needs to work on.
• Summary of what China is doing to keep giant pandas alive.
• Researchers reveal how panda protections are saving many other species.
Here’s some good news for animal lovers of all ages as researchers say that panda bears are not the only ones benefiting from protection from Chinese conservations. Instead, the pandas’ homes offer protection to all species living alongside the adorable bears.
But not all species benefit from the same level of attention as the giant pandas. Amphibians, in particular, seem to have the most gaps in their protection laws.
Binbin Li, study researcher and doctoral student from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, gave a statement saying that “Loving pandas is the right thing to do”, however this doesn’t mean that China should neglect its other endangered and unique animals.
He went on to add that China should be smart enough to use its panda protections to save as many other species as they possible can – “We should love beyond pandas”.
China’s passion for protecting giant pandas is well known. Some on their main actions and politics include setting up breeding programs and conservations with the help of international collaborators.
The country lends its animals to zoos from across the planet, but stresses that any surviving cubs that were born in a foreign land need to be returned to China. The practice has been proven to be a successful one as two panda twins were born just last month, at the National Zoo from Washington, D.C.
Another measure of protection comes in the shape of the panda-loan program. Each year the program offers about one million dollars for each pair of giant pandas living in one of the Chinese conservations. Currently, field experts estimate that the country has somewhere around 45 pandas on loan.
What’s more, China has also labeled giant pandas the top species that needs to be protected by country officials, and has established the so called “National Panda Program”, which has provided more than $12 million to be used between the years of 2001 and 2030 for monitoring giant pandas, creating reserves, breeding, and conducting research.
Overall, the giant panda bears benefit from more protection than any other endangered species found in China – the crested ibis, the Chinese alligator, the Yangtze river dolphin.
But the research team from Duke University has shown that the 13.000 square miles (33.600 square kilometers) that China set aside to save giant panda habitats is also protecting many other species.
They came to this conclusion after building a map of the species’ habitats and noticing that they overlap with 70 percent (70%) of Chinese forest bird species, 70 percent (70%) of Chinese forest mammals, 31 percent (31%) of Chinese forest amphibians, and 96 percent (96%) of the areas dubbed “endemic centers”.
The findings were published earlier this week, on Wednesday (September 16, 2015), in the journal Conservation Biology.
Image Source: pixabay.com