China Plans Massive Panda Preserve

China announced a 10,000-square-mile panda preserve to help conserve the panda population.
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China Plans Massive Panda Preserve

Wild pandas living in the mountains of China are getting a lot of extra room to play thanks to a massive new animal preserve.

The Chinese government is carving out a designated area over 10,000 square miles — that's about the size of Massachusetts. It will merge dozens of smaller wildlife areas into one huge panda-protecting Pangaea. 

Human activity and climate change force pandas from their natural habitats and threaten their food supply. Estimates say there are fewer than 2,000 left in the wild in China.

China has really stepped up its wildlife conservation efforts lately — and not just to protect pandas. The country is cracking down on poachers and phasing out its ivory trade

And pandas aren't the only wildlife benefiting from this new space. About 8,000 other endangered animal and plant species will get protection within the park's boundaries.

One panda researcher said, "It will be a haven for biodiversity and provide protection for the whole ecological system."

But the animals' space is coming at the expense of a lot of humans. An estimated 170,000 people in the Sichuan province will have to move to make room for the preserve.