Thanks, pandas! Conservation areas set aside to protect China’s national treasure also help to save many of China’s other one-of-a-kind species, new research reveals.
Pandas get disproportionate attention and conservation funding, but the new study, published online today (Sept. 16) in the journal Conservation Biology, offers some good news: The fuzzy-faced black-and-white bear is not surviving at the expense of other, less-cute species; instead, panda preservation creates a sort of conservation umbrella that benefits lots of species.
But the laserlike focus on pandas has left some gaps in protections for other animals, according to the new study. Amphibians, in particular, get less protection, the research found.
“Loving pandas is the right thing to do,” but China should be savvy in adding new panda protections in order to save as many species as possible, said study researcher Binbin Li, a doctoral student at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. [See Images of China’s Amazing Species]
“We should love beyond pandas,” Li told Live Science.
Protecting China’s species
China has been aggressive in protecting the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), setting up conservation and breeding programs with international cooperation. China lends pandas