October 27th is “International Panda Day”. The fourth survey of giant pandas in China showed that the population of wild giant pandas across the country has reached 1864, the population of captive giant pandas has reached 375, and the habitat area of wild giant pandas is 2.58 million hectares, with potential habitats 910,000 hectares, distributed in 17 cities (prefectures), 49 counties (cities, districts), and 196 towns in Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces.
However, there is another kind of giant panda that has not entered the public’s field of vision, and that is the “sporadic giant panda”. Most of them are scattered outside the national panda nature reserve. There are wild pandas on the mountains and villages under the mountains. The living area of sporadic giant pandas overlaps with the production and living areas of villagers in Panda Village, and mutual influence is inevitable. The lives of these sporadic pandas are faced with many problems such as few young bamboos, no littering caves for overwintering, and insufficient drinking water sources.
The more endangered the species, the more precious its genetic diversity. Every wild population and the genetic characteristics it carries may bring more vitality and hope to this species.
“Biology is a whole, and it is impossible for human beings to live on earth independently.” Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, the Secretary-General of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) once emphasized on the 2019 Basi Cultural Forum, “Many people don’t understand the protection of giant pandas very well, and think it is so important to protect a species?” In Dr. Zhou’s view, the protection of giant pandas is not only because of its advantages, but also to protect the entire system of more than 8,000 animals, plants, and microorganisms related to it. It also provides systematic experience and knowledge for biodiversity conservation.
For the same purpose, in 2018, the CBCGDF established the Community Conservation Area for giant panda at Conglingang (CCAfa). Together with local volunteers, it has been committed to restoring the ecology of the forest area, improving the living conditions of sporadic giant pandas, and promoting the development of sporadic giant pandas’ populations.
To carry out a patrol of sporadic giant panda habitats, the CBCGDF CCAfa volunteers need to leave early and return late. It takes nearly 12 hours. Starting from the Conglin Village, the journey is about 30 kilometers. The entire road condition of the patrol was almost always carried out in the unremarkably steep jungle with no roads. The trek was full of hardships. The CBCGDF volunteers often take wild vegetables, mountain springs, and dry food as a meal during their patrols. And they have been carrying out patrols for many years…
Hardships has never stopped, but the courage to overcome difficulties and face them has never weakened. CBCGDF invites everyone to pay attention to the protection of sporadic giant pandas and to protect biodiversity together.
By / Maggie