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Habitats Protection
According to the second giant panda national survey, there are some 1,100 pandas distributed wildly in 34 counties in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. So, it is extremely important to protect the wild population and their habitats. From the first four nature reserves established in 1963, 34 reserves for the giant panda have been established, covering an area of 1.76 million hectares, or 4.35 million acres. The wild panda population has been effectively protected, laying a solid foundation for their protection.

In the 1970s and 1980s, large areas of bamboo flowered and withered away, seriously threatening the wild population of giant pandas. To conserve and improve the habitat situation, as well as stabilize and develop the wild population of giant pandas, the Chinese government ratified and launched a ‘Conservation Project of the Giant Panda and Its Habitat’ in 1992. It involved an area covering 34 counties in the three provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu. Except further upgrading the already established 13 reserves, another 14 reserves, 17 corridor belts for giant panda and 32 habitat administrative stations were planned to be built to ensure gene exchanges among the wild populations.

Governments at different levels have closely cooperated with international organizations to promote community support projects in the nature reserves. The community co-management method was adopted, through which panda protection and the economy of the local community were jointly improved, and the relationship between nature reserves and local governments were harmonized.

Among all the nature reserves for the giant panda, Wolong is the most famous, being the earliest and largest. Located in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, and covering an area of 200,000 hectares (494,200 acres), the Wolong Nature Reserve is a key nature preservation area designed primarily for the protection and reproduction of giant pandas. Lying on the complicated land formations of the transitional area between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Sichuan Basin, the highland reserve is endowed with favorable environmental conditions for preservation and reproduction of not only the giant panda but also other wild animals. With about 100 wild giant pandas living in it, the reserve is called “the home of the giant panda” or “gene pool” and “natural garden of animals and plants.”

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