Exclusive camera trap photos: rare glimpse into panda habitat
To mark this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, WWF shares these special photos captured by camera traps from mountainous giant panda reserves in Sichuan, China. The photos were taken by more than 100 infra-red camera traps set up in six nature reserves by WWF and its partners from the local forestry authority as part of the monitoring effort under the giant panda conservation programme.
With these photos, WWF conservation officers have gained a better understanding of the identification of animal traces and areas of their activities and the impact of human activities on the species.
“The images demonstrate that through the conservation of the giant panda, a flagship umbrella species, we can also protect other threatened wildlife from the same habitat and preserve biological diversity,” said Fan Zhiyong, director of WWF species programme in China. It is a tried method in WWF’s biodiversity conservation and the reason why WWF would underscore the value of protecting flagship species, he said.
The population of more than 10 flagship and keystone species in China, which include Amur tigers, musk deer and the Yangtze finless porpoise, have undergone a marked decline that was particularly severe between the 1960s and 1980s.
The latest survey, conducted in 2004, estimates that there are only 1,600 pandas in the wild. WWF has been active in giant panda conservation since 1980, and was the first international conservation organization to work in China at the Chinese government’s invitation.
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