|MadSci Network: Environment/Ecology|
Hi You can find some more information about pandas at Pandas Pandas are definitely close to being extinct! The biggest problem is that Pandas only like to live in a certain kind of environment that has mountains and lots of tender bamboo to eat. Right now there are only a few places in the world where that exists, mainly in western China. But China has a lot of people who need space for their cattle and goats and sheep to graze. The cattle go into the mountains and eat the seedlings of the bamboo plants. Their hoofs break up the mountain soils. In places where people have started to raise cattle, the mountain forest is destroyed. China has lost about 30% (about one-third) of their mountain forests since 1965. People are starting to put cattle in the rest of the forest. It is pretty likely that in about another 50 years or so the whole forest will be gone. China would like to save the pandas, but they are a poor country and they do not have the $100,000,000 that it will cost to save the forest. Some environmental organizations are trying to raise the money in other countries. Right now there are only about 30 or 35 groups of pandas left in the forest. Each group has only about 20 pandas. Some of those groups are in areas where people want to raise cattle. The future doesn't look too good for those pandas. I'm sorry that this answer is a bit sad! matt
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