A total of 223 giant pandas living in the wild in China are at high risk for survival, an official survey said Saturday.
According to the survey conducted by the State Forestry Administration (SFA), the giant pandas, living in 24 isolated populations in the wild, accounted for 12 percent of the total in the wild, Xinhua news agency reported.
They are living “at high risk for survival and the situation is still alarming”, the survey said.
As a result of geographic isolation and human intervention, the wild population is fragmented to 33 isolated populations, among which, 22 populations with less than 30 individuals are on the brink of extinction and in particular those 18 populations with less than 10 individuals are facing extremely high risk of extinction, said the report.
The challenges for giant panda protection came in the context of a generally improving picture which showed that the population of giant pandas in the wild had increased by 268 to 1,864 from more than 10 years ago.
The habitat areas of giant pandas also expanded by 11.8 percent to 2.58 million hectares from 2003.
Habitats fragmentation is the major factor threatening the survival of giant pandas.
The survey finds that major disturbances in the habitats of wild giant pandas include 319 hydro power plants, 1,339 km of roads, 268.7 km of high-voltage transmission lines, 984 residential areas, 479 mines and 25 tourist attractions (IANS)