We all know pandas to be natures fluffy goofs that eat bamboo and sleep around all day. A lot of effort goes into keeping them from being extinct, but the joy they bring seems well worth it.One of the main issues with pandas is that they have basically evolved to be lazy. This all starts with their diet based on bamboo. The plant is incredibly hard for them to digest. Add to that the fact they need to consume some 30 pounds of it each day, and you have a serious conundrum on your hands. What is even more frustrating is the fact that of those 30 pounds of bamboo they actually digest a measly six pounds of food.
The fact of the matter is they are a form of national treasure in China, and due to their status and the way their habitats are treated, other animals reap the rewards this labor of love. Pandas are notoriously bad at keeping themselves alive. Some people even consider the notion of letting them go extinct a noble one. But the efforts from various communities to save the pandas has pushed them from the endangered list forward into the vulnerable list. This all occurred back in 2016.
All this negativity and hate towards the pandas should really be focused on something else. Because of the valiant effort animals like golden monkeys, red pandas, and Asiatic black bears have also received protection.
Due to all the attention they are getting, as well as all the funding allocated to their protection, is always going to be controversial, but people should still keep in mind that there is a bigger picture that needs to be taken into consideration. Like in all things in life, all these positives have tome with some added negatives as well.
The Chinese government put in place a plan to convert farmlands into forests in order to battle deforestation. This was done purely for the sake of the pandas. This effort far exceeded the panda reserves themselves. The effects were felt in the surrounding areas as planting new plants and other anti-logging efforts allowed the surrounding flora and fauna to thrive. Amazingly, the areas surrounding the panda habitats are currently sitting at their maximum capacity for growth, as well as density. Still, this is not all great. The planting of fast-growing conifers has negatively impacted the biodiversity in the area.
This all tells us that with careful planning and consideration, focusing on only one species is not necessarily a bad thing. Improving the habitat of one animal is bound to bring improvements across the board. There is an idea going around scientific circles that protecting one animal acts as a sort of umbrella, and like in real life, the umbrella can cover more than one person or animal in this specific case.
Additionally, the satellite data used in the assessment of the state of the panda habitats can prove useful for other species as well. Using the data, scientists may find locations where some sort of change in the current state of things can bring improvements for other animals, not just the pandas.
More research is needed to determine if this is just connected to pandas. There could be other conservation efforts for different famous animals that potentially have the same effect on other wildlife. It may be that researchers have not picked up on the trend yet. Another domino effect like this one is ideal for other conservation efforts, and it might just be that our love for pandas made everything that much easier.
Alexandra grew up dreaming of being a great science explorer. She always wanted to travel the world and explore some of the greatest science mysteries of the times. After high school, she studied chemistry in college and spent most of her summers working on research projects alongside her professors. It was there that Alexandra got clarity about what she wanted to do in the future. She now works full time in science research at a teaching university and is planning to go to medical school in a few years. She likes to stay up-to-date with the latest discoveries in science and share her love for science through her writing.