China pandas face bamboo shortage

2012-11-12 13:01
Mei Xiang and another one of her cubs. (AFP)

Mei Xiang and another one of her cubs. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Paris - A study in China’s northwestern Qinling Mountains, home to around 270 pandas and about a fifth of the world’s wild population, predicts a “substantial” bamboo decline this century as the globe warms.

“The pandas may face a shortage of food unless they can find alternative food resources,” a team of researchers from the United States and China warn in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The international symbol of environmental conservation efforts, the giant panda is a picky eater.

Around 99% of its diet consists of bamboo - devouring up to 38kg per day. This means the iconic black-and-white bear’s survival is closely linked to a thriving bamboo habitat.

Bamboo itself also has a slow reproductive rate, flowering only every 30 to 35 years, which means it would be slow to adapt to a change in local climate, said a statement on the research.

Growth patterns

Based on the data gathered for this study, researchers predict that three bamboo species which make up almost the entire diet of the Qinling pandas, will all but disappear in a warmer climate.

“Results suggest that almost the entire panda habitat in the region may disappear by the end of the 21st century,” said the study report.

The calculations are based on different warming scenarios projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ranging from rises of 2°C to 5°C in summer by century’s end, and 3°C to 8°C in winter.

These projections were collated with data on rainfall and greenhouse gas emissions as well as historical growth patterns, to consider the future of bamboo.

Already, deforestation is threatening the survival of about half of all bamboo species worldwide.

The researchers say bamboo distribution has historically fluctuated in response to changes in the climate.

In the modern era, though, even if other areas were to become climatically more suited for bamboo growth, these would be far away and fall outside the present network of protected panda reserves.

The findings should be used “for proactive planning to protect areas that have a better climatic chance of providing adequate food sources or begin creating natural ’bridges’ to allow pandas an escape hatch from bamboo famine,” the statement said.

Read more on:    animals  |  climate change
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2815.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.