Protecting Giant pandas and Red pandas from extinction in the wild simply means ensuring they have a home to live in. Without the forests these enigmatic animals will be lost in the wild forever.
Habitat loss is a major factor in the decline of many species across the globe. The forests in the Sichuan Mountains of China offer outstanding habitat for a wide range of wildlife and contain populations of animals such as the red panda, clouded leopard and many threatened birds and other wildlife that live only in this region.
But the broadleaf forests of Sichuan are threatened mainly through human activities such as illegal logging and harvesting and industrial development.
In partnership with Oxford Brookes University, the Sichuan Forestry Department and Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base we’re working closely with local communities to protect and manage the forests. We’re also assisting with education awareness and sustainable development, which is ultimately helping to protect Sichuan’s forests and wildlife.
Our China Conservation Programme has a strong bird conservation focus, with research projects on endemic species such as the Sichuan partridge and Omei shan liocichla. Chester Zoo, alongside a number of conservation partners, also play a major role in the ongoing protection of the critically endangered Blue-crowned laughingthrush.
The programme also involves a number of sustainable community initiatives including bee keeping, fuel efficient and biogas stoves and walnut grafting. These initiatives are helping to reduce fuel wood consumption and provide an important alternative source of income for many families.
Without projects like this one, the homes of many endangered species would be lost.
We thought this next update from our head of field programmes was perfectly timed – seeing as ‘tis the festive season!