hen WWF, the global conservation organization, was looking for a symbol at its beginnings in 1961, it opted for the giant panda because it was highly endangered and instantly recognizable. Now the panda is finally making something of a comeback, thanks to reforestation.
The panda depends on bamboo forests: each eats 12 to 38 kilograms of bamboo each day and a breeding pair needs at least 30 square kilometres of forest to sustain it. Any forest loss - through logging, road construction or urban expansion - can spell catastrophe.
Since 1998, the Chinese Government has worked closely with WWF and other organizations to preserve forests - and in 2004 a survey found 1,600 pandas, a 40 per cent increase since the 1980s.
This is largely thanks to 50 new nature reserves, and 'green corridors' which act as bridges between the panda habitats that had been turned into green islands by roads, farms and cities. Thus two large panda populations were recently linked by a 200-hectare green corridor created by putting a national highway in a tunnel.
The Chinese Government has pledged to restore another 1,275 square kilometres of forest, helping pandas and also securing wetlands, forests, arid areas and the habitat of the snow leopard.
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|Editorial||Treasure trees||Supporting the sky||TUNZA answers
|Tunza fun||Forest heroes|
|Truly wild 1||Debt for forests||Nothing new under
|Endangered forests||Give as well as take||Gorilla war|
|Truly wild 2||Money does grow
|Win-win||Trees in the
|Championing the Earth||Tell the difference|
|Nutty solution||Truly wild 3||Seven forest wonders|
|About Tunza||Contents||Edition française||Versión española|