The wild panda population of China’s northwestern Gansu province has increased by 15 percent according to the results of a recent survey.
Shanghai Daily reports that the survey, which tracked the panda population between 2001 and the end of 2014, found that not only had numbers of wild pandas gone up, but the area covered by panda habitats had also increased by 3.3 percent over the same period.
The survey warned, however, that the recent addition of two hydroelectric power plants, an extra 122 kilometers of road and 22 kilometers of high-voltage transmission lines has begun to disturb the pandas.
Duan Changsheng, deputy director of Gansu’s forestry department, said “human activity and the fragmentation of panda habitats have threatened giant pandas’ survival.”
The State Forestry Administration reports that at the end of 2013 there were only 1,864 giant pandas living in the wild in China, although these numbers show an increase of 268, or 16.8 percent from 2003.
Panda breeding has been all over the media in China recently, with many impressed at the sexual performance of Lulu, who managed to keep things going for a solid 7 minutes 45 seconds at a breeding center in Sichuan province.
Television viewers were, however, slightly less impressed by Wu Gang, the star of a panda mating reality TV show. On his debut, he didn’t seem at all in the mood for sex, and was in fact rather hostile towards his would-be mate.
By Dominic Jackson