Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Most panda habitat is outside nature reserves, according to joint US-China research

Date:
August 1, 2010
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Though much effort and many resources have been expended to protect the endangered giant panda, research by an international team of scientists shows that much suitable panda habitat is outside the nature reserves and areas where the panda is reported to live.

Much suitable panda habitat is outside the nature reserves and areas where the panda is reported to live, new research finds.
Credit: iStockphoto/Anatoly Kolodey

Though much effort and many resources have been expended to protect the endangered giant panda, research by an international team of scientists shows that much suitable panda habitat is outside the nature reserves and areas where the panda is reported to live.

"This research can help the Chinese government and international non-governmental organizations develop comprehensive strategic plans for more effective conservation of the panda," said Jianguo "Jack" Liu, MSU University Distinguished Professor of fisheries and wildlife who holds the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability and serves as director of the MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS). Liu is internationally known for his work on environmental sustainability and coupled human and natural systems.

"Overall, about 40 percent of the suitable habitat for pandas is inside the nature reserves," said Andrés Viña, CSIS specialist. "Our model also identified potentially suitable habitat outside the currently accepted geographic range of the panda."

The research is published in the journal Biological Conservation.

The giant panda is the rarest member of the bear family. Panda once ranged throughout most of China, northern Vietnam and northern Myanmar. Today, fewer than 1,600 giant pandas live in the wild in three Chinese provinces: Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan. Human actions -- including logging, residential development and the expansion of farming -- are considered the main reasons for the dramatic contraction of the giant panda's habitat.

The research team developed habitat models using geographical/environmental information gathered by satellites overlaid with information on panda occurrence. After analyzing the six mountain regions in the three provinces where pandas are known to live, the scientists developed a habitat suitability index for the entire 48,328-square-mile area.

The range-wide habitat analysis model gives governments and other agencies a new tool as they develop conservation strategies and priorities not only for pandas but also for many other endangered species.

"The Chinese government plans to add approximately 69,500 square miles of land to the country's nature reserve system between 2010 and 2020," said Zhiyun Ouyang, director of the Lab of Urban and Regional Ecology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. "So opportunities exist to create new reserves, to expand existing reserves and to create corridors that increase the connectivity among the reserves. On the basis of our results, we suggest some new areas to be included in China's nature reserve system."

The research is supported by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, the National Science Foundation, NASA and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Besides Liu, Viña and Ouyang, other members of the research team are Mao-Ning Tuanmu, MSU fisheries and wildlife doctoral student; Yu Li, MSU fisheries and wildlife master's student; Weihua Xu, professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Ruth DeFries, Denning Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrés Viña, Mao-Ning Tuanmu, Weihua Xu, Yu Li, Zhiyun Ouyang, Ruth DeFries, Jianguo Liu. Range-wide analysis of wildlife habitat: Implications for conservation. Biological Conservation, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.04.046

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Most panda habitat is outside nature reserves, according to joint US-China research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100728111721.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2010, August 1). Most panda habitat is outside nature reserves, according to joint US-China research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100728111721.htm
Michigan State University. "Most panda habitat is outside nature reserves, according to joint US-China research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100728111721.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins