Monday, 9 October 2017

Livestock grazing harming giant panda habitat


Hungry horses and cows have damaged more than one third of panda habitat in China's Wanglang National Nature Reserve

Date: October 3, 2017
Source: Duke University

Increased livestock grazing in China's Wanglang National Nature Preserve has damaged one third of all giant panda habitat in the park, a new study by Chinese and U.S. scientists finds.
The habitat degradation coincides with a nine-fold increase in livestock numbers within the park over the past 15 years.

"Increasing numbers of free-ranging livestock inside the reserve's forests have caused tremendous impacts on bamboos, which constitute 99 percent of the giant pandas' diet," said Binbin Li, assistant professor at Duke Kunshan University's Environmental Research Centre, who led the study.

"What is worse, overgrazing has reduced the regeneration of these bamboos," Li said. "Local communities leave their livestock to free range in the forests and only come to feed them salt twice a month. So the livestock feed on the bamboos year-round, especially in winter."


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