“Oh no, not the pandas too!” by Eileen Wong

As this is the first week of the year for everyone who celebrates the Lunar New Year, I would like to dedicate my this month’s issue on endangered animals on pandas, the rarest breed of bears, which happens to be a native of China. When we think of China and its New Year’s traditions, we would undoubtedly think of all the exotic cuisine that’s supposed to bring good luck for the entire family, the inexpensive goods and decorations all in red and gold as well the the red pockets with money inside, which are given to the young and unmarried, but let’s not forget about the furry pandas. Pandas are one the country’s popular attractions apart from the Great Wall of China as it is considered a national symbol much like how the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has a panda in its logo. However, as a conservation reliant endangered species, pandas may no longer exist if we, humans, don’t make an effort to protect them and their home.

Pandas have been endangered for about 20 years and continue to die-off as we speak.  There are only 1,600 species left in the wild while 200 other pandas are kept in conservation centres and zoos, makingit one of the world’smost threatened animals (Pandas International, 2012).

These docile creatures are almost harmless and would never attack humans. In fact, they prefer to keep a distance from us. It is only when danger arises that the pandas attack, which is understandable since every living creature has been programmed to act this way. Unfortunately, many humans kill these animals regardless of the lack of danger. All they want is their fur to sell and earn a profit. Although, the Chinese government has already created a law that prevents poaching from occurring, it is hard to say that none of this still occurs within the darkness.

Another factor that is diminishing the panda population is the destruction and great reduction in their food supply, bamboo trees. These black and white bears consume a lot of bamboo everyday, 30 – 45 pounds, since this plant is low in nutrition (Bear Life, 2012).  People clear away a lot of bamboo plants for roads and construction, which is directly destroying the pandas’ habitat and indirectly endangering the animals themselves. Furthermore, pandas rely on bamboo forests that connect to each other for migration, mating, and location of food (Bear Life, 2012). With the roads installed, their paths to survival are automatically disconnected.

The loss of pandas has a huge impact on the economy and ecosystem in China. Since many tourists go to this country to see the exotic animals, they are important to keeping the economy healthy. The pandas’ habitat in China’s Yangtze Basin is an eco-region of critical diversity conservation. Economic benefits derived from the Yangtze Basin include tourism, subsistence fisheries and agriculture, transport, hydropower and water resources. The survival of the panda and the protection of its habitat will ensure that people living in the region continue to reap ecosystem benefits for many generations.(WWF). Every animal in an ecosystem is essential; when a species is dying off faster than normal interventions such as laws and sanctioned conservation efforts, this means that something is seriously wrong with what we are doing to the environment.

We humans are the direct cause to the extinction of pandas, so it is crucial that we take responsibility. Here are some ways to help out: let people know about pandas’ lives being at stake, donate money to co-operations dedicated to conserving the panda species, host a fundraising event where the proceeds go to helping these creatures, and organize an environmental club devoted to the preservation of pandas at your school, or office. WWF is also proud of its “Adopt a Panda” program, which is a part of their efforts to preserve universal endangered species. http://www.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions/Panda.aspx?sc=AWY1200WC900 Lastly, here is a link where you can go on the following website for more ways to help out these furry animals: http://www.pandasinternational.org/faqs.html

If we continue on this path of ignorance and destruction then the world will not be the same anymore; soon enough we will no longer have anymore natural living organisms that we depend on to sustain our own lives so please make it a new year resolutions of yours to help pandas continue to strive in this beautiful world of ours. Thanks for reading.

http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/finder/giantpanda/panda.html
http://www.pandasinternational.org/faqs.html
http://www.bearlife.org/panda-bear.html

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Published by: G.R.E.E.N. G.R.A.S.S.

G.R.E.E.N. G.R.A.S.S., which is an acronym for Glendon Residence Environmental E-Newsletter & Glendon Roots and Shoots' Serial, is a newsletter and serial blog created and maintained by Glendon Roots and Shoots and its creation was inspired by the Glendon Residence Environmental Committee's Glendon Residence Environmental E-Newsletter (GREEN), thus its namesake. Our goal for GREEN GRASS is to spread awareness on environmentalism and sustainability by publishing submitted articles from Glendon's very own environmental activists and students. Published once a month, we hope to inspire fellow Glendonites and netizens beyond to become active world citizens and conscious consumers by sharing fellow students' voice of concern for the well-being of Mother Nature as we also promote G.R.A.S.' projects and initiatives. Thanks for reading~

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