China’s giant pandas may be running out of food

From Reuters, originally found at China Dialogue:

Giant pandas living in the wild in the misty mountains of southwest China are facing a possible food shortage as bamboo plants, their staple diet, near the end of their lifespan, state media said on Monday.

The mountainous region witnessed extensive blossoming of the arrow bamboo, the pandas’ favorite, in 1984 and 1987, when the plants flowered, seeded and died. Hundreds of the endangered animals died of starvation.

One gets the impression that this is a somewhat predictable, possibly even manageable, phenomenon. One would therefore think that steps really ought to have been taken before we started seeing the bamboo flowering, suddenly remembering the Pandas’ food is about to die off.

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