An examination of the giant panda, discovered as recently as 1869 and not seen in the West until 1937 and the lesser-known red panda, which for 50 years was the only panda known to man. In particular, the book includes the results of the latest research in China on the habits of both the giant and lesser pandas. Much of this research shows that, far from being a species doomed to extinction by its slow reproductive rate and specilalized diet, the giant panda is perfectly adapted to its life in the high forests. The real threat to the survival of the giant panda is man. Accidental and deliberate trapping, and the destruction of precious habitats are driving both the giant and red pandas towards extinction. The author discusses in depth the problems of conservation and the prospects and limitations for breeding pandas in captivity. He concludes that only international co-operation on an unprecedented scale will halt the decline. The giant panda's scarcity and popularity led to its adoption as the symbol of the World Wildlife Fund and in recent years they have become precious diplomatic gifts.
- Hardback | 160 pages
- 189 x 246mm
- 26 Apr 1990
- Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- London, United Kingdom
- 20 colour plates, line drawings, index
Table of contents
The bear cats; history; habitat; giant panda ecology; giant panda reproduction; red panda ecology and reproduction; conservation.