Monday, September 28, 2009

Should giant Pandas Be Protected?

Source: ChinaSMACK

Giant Pandas have been unlucky this year. First an earthquake destroyed their safest home and now there is a British person who shows up and spills salt on the pandas’ wound. This British person’s name is Chris Packham, a presenter for the BBC. He claims that humans should not spend vast amounts of money to protect Giant Pandas, but rather let it naturally die off.

Packham’s reasoning is: Giant Pandas are not strong enough, unable to independently survive, and using the millions of British pounds used to protect Giant Pandas on other areas might yield better results. Packham is the host for the BBC channel two’s special program “Springwatch”. He believes that the method of first raising in captivity and then releasing into nature is pointless, because nature does not have enough habitat to maintain the Giant Panda’s survival.

He says: “‘Here is a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac. It’s not a strong species. Unfortunately, it’s big and cute and a symbol of the World Wide Fund for Nature and we pour millions of pounds into panda conservation. I reckon we should pull the plug. Let them go, with a degree of dignity.”

Sounds like an awful conclusion. Scientist try their best to save all sorts of animals from fish in the sea to birds in the sky. How can nature not have enough habitat for giant pandas when there room for bigger animals like elephants!

I am amazed how small a baby panda is. How can a BIG panda have such little babies! Look at horses for example, baby horses are huge!


Roger Williams said...

What an asshole. The English have reached an evolutionary dead end too, but we continue to protect them on their island nature preserve with the costs-be-damned, now don't we?

Whatever. England is my least favorite colony of Pakistan, anyway.

Unknown said...

I understand the line of thinking you make- "how can there be no room for pandas when there are so many larger animals"- but it's not that simple. The evolutionary dead-end he's talking about is their dietary limitations.

Pandas, as everyone knows, eat bamboo.

Bamboo is very fast-growing, but it confers almost NO energy to pandas, leaving the animals almost entirely sedentary, and unable to travel even moderate distances to find food.

Bamboo is seasonal, but pandas don't hibernate- so pandas need to essentially straddle two feeding grounds, each with a different seasonal variant of bamboo- and both very close together. And there are VERY few places where this is possible- as many bamboo strains are just as picky about where they'll grow.

We spend millions of dollars, and pounds, and yuan, and whathaveyou- to protect animals WE are endangering. But pandas continue to die out of their own accord. They are a demonstrably weak species, and they haven't even shown themselves capable of rebuilding their own populations. We have no idea how long we'll need to practice the level of husbandry we do before they're able to survive on their own. And so the author is unsure whether the investment is wise.