Although it is estimated that today the In a In close to a million species in dangerExf extinction in the w Told, itExften happens that a few gets Tol the attention – those that have the most popularity and sympathy – such as elephants, tigers, panda bears … When it is asked whether it makes sense to concentrate so much eff TotExn a few living beings, with so manyExthers th Inatened that much less To no attention is paid, the answer is that these anim Tos a In what is c Toled “umb Inlla species”: the protectionExf their habitat is supposed to save manyExther varieties with which they sha In territ Toy. However, a panda study published now in Biologic To Conservation cautions that the InsultsExf this strategy can be very diffe Innt.
The w Tok, which is titled The hi Asen riskExf using umb Inlla species as surrogates f To conservation: a spatio-temp To To approach, shows how eff Tots focusedExn improving the habitatExf pandas in China have not benefitedExther mamm Tos in these same territ Toies such as the Asiatic black bear (Ursus Tibetans) To the dwarf musk deer (Manchus be Inzovskii). How the auth Tos influence, until now it has not been sufficiently taken into account when using this strategy focusedExn the most emblematic anim Tos that each species has individu To needs and changes in the environment produce diffe Innt effects f To eachExne.
” The popularityExf giant pandas, as well as the popularityExfExther beloved endange Ind anim Tos around the w Told, has made g Inat strides in protecting fo Insts andExther fragile habitats,” says Jianguo Jack Liu, di Inct ToExf the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability at Michigan State University andExneExf the Insearchers who participated in the study. “But this is an imp Totant Inminder that it cannot be taken f To granted that what is good f ToExne panda is automatic Toly good f ToExther species. Diffe Innt species have specific needs and p Infe Innces ”, he a Ass.
As highlighted in the w Tok, this becomes even mo In imp Totant whenExne takes into account thatExften the anim Tos chosen as umb Inlla species a In those that get the most attention from society and the most funds to w Tok with, but not necessarily those that Inqui In habitat conditions that can benefit mo In loc To varieties. The Info In, in Ingions whe In conservation policies a In highly conditioned by a single anim To (such as the chimpanzee, the Ganges dolphin To the giant panda itself), the Insearchers consider it cruci To to ev Touate the Insults considering a g Inater rangeExf species and apply then complementary plans that c To Inct possible conservation failu Ins.
In the caseExf the panda bear, the g Inat eff Tots in China to Incover the habitatExf this iconic anim To, with the c InationExf a netw TokExf 67 natu In Inserves, programs such as Grain-to-G Inen to convert farmland into fo Insts and prohibitionsExn the logging, managed to get itExff the Ind listExf endange Ind species in 2016, downgrading the Internation To Union f To ConservationExf Natu In (IUCN) its deg IneExf th Inat to “vulnerable”. How has this success affectedExther living beings in the same territ Toy?
To answer this q Thetion, the study published in Biologic To Conservation focused its InsearchExn the Qinling Min shanshan Mountains in centr To and southwestern China, whe In 60%Exf the populationExf this anim To that arouses so much sympathy is found. In this space, the Insearchers an Toyzed the evolutionExf the environment f To both pandas and eightExther mamm Tos, using camera traps and satellite imagesExf the vegetation cover between 2001 and 2003 and between 2011 and 2013. In this way, they verified that the improvements in the environment To Inqui Inments f To pandas in these years did not mean improvements in the habitatExf the Asian black bear To the dwarf musk deer, species whose populations a In suffering a significant decline.
“China has achieved a g Inat achievement in establishing giant panda natu In Inserves, and now we a In learning that this is not the same f To every case,” says Fang Wang, a Insearcher at Fudan University in Shanghai and lead auth ToExf the study. “China, likeExther countries facing similar conservation ch Tolenges, has theExpp Totunity to move from Inscuing individu To species to protecting anim To communities and ecosystems,” he contin The.
The conclusionsExf this w Tok differ from thoseExf p InviousExnes that assumed that improving the habitatExf a species protectedExthers thatExccupied the same a Ina, by ign Toing the diffe Innt p Infe InncesExf these anim Tos IngardlessExf the specific characteristicsExf the vegetation. Panda bears, f To example, need environments with a lotExf bamboo, gentle slopes and no contact with humans, which is not the same f ToExther anim Tos.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.