The giant panda is the symbolic animal for the fight against the extinction of many species: the WWF decided to use it as its main symbol. 50 years ago the species was reduced to less than 1000 specimens and classified as endangered, but the attention of the world and the response and efforts of China managed to protect and make the species relatively safe.
There are over sixty-seven Chinese nature reserves many of them with bamboo forests, the food of pandas. Today there are 1864 specimens: an almost double number compared to 1970. But the other species? Anyway a scientific study published in Nature Ecology and Evolution has shown that while the number of pandas has been increasing, leopards, wolves, snow leopards and cuons have decreased at the same time and gradually in those nature reserves.
The focus on the habitat needs of the panda has led to changes in ecosystems to the detriment of the rest of the species. These would be species that embody the needs of an entire ecosystem and therefore are expected to act as shortcuts for conservation action.
In short, by solving one problem many others have been created.
Chinese swordfish has also become extinct
The Chinese swordfish has also become extinct, after at least 200 million years. This is the conclusion of a study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
The species, which can exceed 7 meters in length, has survived unimaginable changes and upheavals, such as the mass extinction that killed marine reptiles, like plesiosaurs, which sailed its own waters. Over time, flowering plants have evolved and populated the banks of the Yangtze River in modern China, the ancestral home of this particular fish.
main author of the article Qiwei Wei of the Chinese Academy of Sciences of Fisheries, said: "It is a reprehensible and irreparable loss" "It's very sad," adds Zeb Hogan, a biologist from the University of Nevada, Reno, as well as a National Geographic explorer not directly involved in the study, who then told: "It is the definitive loss of a truly unique and extraordinary animal, with no hope of recovery.
This is the first of these large freshwater fish to disappear and many are at risk: the concern is that others will die out, but the hope is that we can reverse their decline before it is too late. Big fish are not only crucial elements in their ecosystems, they are also sentinels for environmental quality, since they can only survive in healthy rivers.
Moving forward, we must learn to balance the needs of humans with those of aquatic life. And it's not an impossible task."