If not the Great Wall, it seems China’s main attraction is its everlasting devotion to the giant panda. The home of the Forbidden City has even built a solar farm inspired by the peaceful bamboo-munchers. Now hoping to increase populations, China is funding a national park dedicated to the slow-reproducing bears.
Plans for the park – which would cover 27,134 sq km – were first put forward early last year by the ruling Communist Party and the State Council, China’s cabinet.
If the 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) proves enough, the Giant Panda National Park will dwarf Yellowstone by three times. With over 80% of the world’s pandas situated in Sichuan, 2018 is the perfect year for a get-together. Getting them to breed? We’ll leave it up to luck.
Giant pandas have a notoriously low reproductive rate, a key factor – along with habitat loss – in their status as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of threatened species.
We get it, guys. Dating around can be unsettling — but perhaps not for the greater good.
To salvage the remnants of Mother Nature, activist groups, along with government agencies, are erecting new national parks. So far, protected areas in Chile have emerged, with Peru scrambling to assemble Yaguas National Park. The area remains one of the most intact forests on the planet.
More than 1,000 people… live along a 125-mile stretch of the Yaguas and Putumayo rivers. To them, this place is “sachamama,” a Quechua word roughly meaning “mother jungle,” the sacred heart of the area that produces the flora and fauna on which the groups depend.
Realizing the current impact of climate change, Peru is teaming up with South American countries such as Ecuador and Colombia. Together, the environmental superpowers are contending to fulfill the Paris climate agreement.
“For now, Yaguas is safe, but in the 20 years I’ve been working in the Amazon, I’ve learned the hard way that today’s remoteness is tomorrow’s access,” said Gregory Asner, an ecologist at the Carnegie Institution for Science.
In the end, it’s we who lose when we neglect the planet. After all, the Earth won’t combust–it’ll just pick us off.
They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone — and nature couldn’t agree more. Realizing the value of its waters, Mexico recently built the world’s largest marine reserve yet, spanning 57,000 square miles. Echoing its environmental efforts is Chile, transforming 10 million acres of land into five national parks.
The government signed a deal with Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, who worked with late husband Doug for decades to protect areas of Patagonia.
Tompkins Conservation, the not-for-profit organisation set up by the couple, said the area being protected was roughly the size of Switzerland.
Doug Tompkins, who founded iconic outdoor brand North Face, died in a tragic kayaking accident in 2015. Accused of land-grabbing, Tompkins’ was set purely on ecological preservation.
“I am proud of my husband Doug and his vision which continues to guide us, in addition to our entire team, for completing these two national parks and the broader network, a major milestone of our first 25 years of work,” [Mrs. Tompkins] said.
Being part of society’s 1% may be tricky — but power doesn’t always equate greed.
Devoted animal activists are doing what they can to prevent dwindling wildlife populations from perishing. While Kazakhstan is manually reintroducing wild tigers, Indonesian authorities are catching pangolin smugglers red-handed. For the “extinct” crest-tailed mulgara, no human intervention brought the carnivorous critter back to life. It simply showed up after an entire century.
“Next year we are due to begin introduced predator and rabbit eradication for a large area, which will no doubt help the mulgara,” Reece Pedler, project coordinator of Wild Deserts, says.
The tiny, blonde insect-muncher is a cousin to the Tasmanian devil and acts as a midday lunch for foxes and cats. For a hundred years, passersby only experienced the mouse-like creature in bone fragments. Now, Australia is prepared to keep the species alive.
The conservation project will set up Sturt National Park as a sanctuary with two fenced exoclosures to keep predators away. After those have been erected, locally extinct mammals… will be reintroduced.
Looks like athletes aren’t the only ones making a comeback!