5-speed listening (Conservation - Level 5)

Panda conservation drive harms other mammals






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Saving the giant panda from the brink of extinction is hailed as a conservation success story. For decades, the panda has been the symbol for all endangered species and is the logo of the World Wildlife Fund. An international conservation union removed it from the endangered species list in 2016, but it remains "vulnerable". Conservationists fear success for the panda has come at a cost to other mammals sharing its habitat. A study published in a journal found that the snow leopard, wolf and Asian wild dog have disappeared from many areas in which the giant panda lives.

A researcher from Peking University was happy the panda is safer. However, he lamented the fact that this has put some of China's larger, carnivorous mammals at risk. Since panda conservation started in the 1960s, Asian wild dogs have disappeared from 95% of protected reserves, wolves from 77%, and snow leopards from 38%. Research findings "indicate the insufficiency of giant panda conservation for protecting these large carnivore species". It recognised "the power of the giant panda as an umbrella that has effectively sheltered many other species".

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