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Panda, Inc.
JULY 2006
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Protecting Pandas in the Wild
Investing in Habitat
The Chinese are the world's biggest panda fans, according to Tom Dillon of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). But caring isn't enough: Pandas need intact habitat to support stable populations. WWF has worked to protect pandas for 25 years, and there's been progress, Dillon says. China has banned logging in natural forests, started a ten-billion-dollar reforestation project, and announced plans to invest a billion dollars a year over 30 years to expand protected areas. Multimillion-dollar contributions from U.S. zoos to China's reserves and breeding centers have produced valuable results, but they pay just a fraction of the total cost of panda conservation. And the bears' habitat remains at risk. China's hundred-billion-dollar Western Development Initiative promises economic growth in the country's poorest areas—and threatens to supercharge construction, industry, and tourism cutting into the heart of panda country.

Shrunken Range
China's human population doubled in the past half century, driving the growth of farms, highways, railroads, and industrial mining and logging operations that have eaten up forests and pushed giant pandas to the very edge of their once broad range.

No Profits on Pandas
Pandas have giant appeal, but for U.S. zoos their price tag is even bigger. Zoo Atlanta compiled budgets from each of the four host zoos. Financial details vary, but an average panda ledger in a year with a new cub shows far more expense than revenue.

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