Are Chinese Horses Threatening Giant Pandas’ Survival?

Livestock, particularly horses, have been identified as a significant threat to panda survival. The reason? They’re beating the pandas to the bamboo buffet.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Giant pandas, it turns out, probably aren’t celebrating the Year of the Horse. Livestock, particularly horses, have been identified as a significant threat to panda survival. The reason? They’re beating the pandas to the bamboo buffet, a team of Michigan State University (MSU) researchers say.

“Across the world, people are struggling to survive in the same areas as endangered animals, and often trouble surfaces in areas we aren’t anticipating,” said Jianguo “Jack” Liu, MS, PhD, Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability at MSU. “Creating and maintaining successful conservation policy means constantly looking for breakdowns in the system. In this case, something as innocuous as a horse can be a big problem.”

China invests billions to protect giant panda habitat and preserve the 1,600 remaining endangered wildlife icons living there. For years, timber harvesting has been the panda’s biggest threat. Pandas have specific habitat needs: they eat only bamboo and stay in areas with gentle slopes that are far from humans. Conservation programs that limit timber harvesting have chalked up wins in preserving such habitat.

However, Vanessa Hull, MS, PhD, a doctoral student in MSU’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, started noticing it wasn’t just pandas chowing on bamboo

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Which skin issue do you battle most frequently with your horse?
253 votes · 253 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!