Pandas: So…Should We Just Let Them Die Out?

I have always been somewhat negative about pandas. In the harsh tyrannical reign of mother nature, it seems hard to imagine this adorable, fluffy bear fitting in anywhere.  And today, Giant Pandas are now endangered, with only around 1,600 left in the wild and only 300 in zoos. Many people don’t seem very surprised by this fact, myself included. They sleep for around 16 hours a day and have a diet consisting of 99% bamboo, it therefore appears on first glance quite obvious why they aren’t doing very well. Although….they have been around for over 2 million years…why are they struggling now?

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Pleistocene Park

For many, the conservation of ecosystems and organisms by simply putting up a fence and letting nature do its thing is not enough. Most of Earth’s ecosystems have been significantly effected by humans for thousands of years. For instance, if there is a sudden decline in the number of animals on an island or area in the archaeological record, particularly of the larger animals, humans have probably arrived. We have been influencing and destroying vast stretches of Earth for thousands of years, we have just got better at it. Another example is America around 12,000 years ago. Hunters started using small lances and arrowheads when hunting and after that around 70% of the large animal species suddenly vanished. Spooky…

So anyway, maybe we can ‘construct’ ecosystems best suited for animals to live in this world. Maybe a large park full of large animals living in conditions similar to the long distant past…?

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