A Year of Green Recovery in China’s Panda Country
Author: teddygirl | Friday May 29, 2009
The following is from World Wildlife Fund, an organization that protects the worlds wildlife and wildlands.
In the year since the May 12, 2008 earthquake that devastated southwest China’s Sichuan Province, WWF and our humanitarian partners have been active on the ground to care for pandas on the impacted reserves and lessen the suffering of the neighboring communities.
WWF’s response to this disaster was immediate, working with first-responders in affected areas to meet urgent human needs. We provided satellite phones, tents, fuel-efficient stoves, food and other emergency supplies to stricken communities.
As soon as conditions allowed, WWF and partners undertook a comprehensive two-week survey of the damaged giant panda habitat in Sichuan. More than 40 rangers and researchers trekked through steep mountain slopes and dense forest trails – braving possible aftershocks and landslides. The team was delighted to find signs of live pandas, but confirmed that conditions on the ground matched satellite images showing widespread damage to their habitat.
WWF has been focused on rebuilding infrastructure and equipment within the affected panda reserves, and has been providing monitoring and patrolling equipment. We have also supplied technical and financial support during the field surveys and helped set up temporary monitoring posts within the hardest-hit reserves.
Through WWF’s Humanitarian Partnerships Program, WWF is working with the Chinese government to implement environmentally-sound reconstruction for the benefit of giant pandas and local communities. We continue working with the Red Cross and other relief organizations to supply water, sanitation and fuel in ways that reduce pressure on already-strained natural resources. Looking forward, WWF is also reducing the man-made threats – deforestation, habitat loss, and pollution – to the giant panda, which pose a far greater danger to the future of this iconic animal.
Giant panda fast facts
* The species has been WWF’s logo since we were founded in 1961.
* The giant panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world’s most threatened animals.
* Giant pandas are about five feet long from nose to rump, with a four to six inch tail.
* A large adult panda can weigh about 220-330 pounds, with males 10 percent larger and 20 percent heavier than females.
* Pandas live mainly on the ground but have the ability to climb trees as well.
* A giant panda may consume 26-83 pounds of bamboo a day to meet its energy requirements.
* Giant pandas are generally solitary, each adult having a well-defined home range.
For more information, visit World Wildlife Funds website.