Giant Panda Affected by Road Construction

Decent Essays

The Qinling giant pandas are a slowly diminishing species. If left unprotected they will eventually become extinct. Fan, Li, Quan, Wu, Hu, and Yang investigated the effects of road construction on endangered Qinling giant pandas. Road construction can greatly affect the environment. According to the article, the harmful effects of roadway expansion “extend to an area ten times broader than the roadway itself” (Fan et al., 2011, p. 145). It can cause harmful chemicals to contaminate water sources and food supplies. Subsequently, road construction isolates species from one another, and this in turn “blocks gene flow…, which steeply [decreases] genetic diversity” (Fan et al., 2011, p. 145). On the other hand, road networks can isolate these species from their main water source and/or food supply. The giant panda’s only food source is bamboo. Bamboo is a fickle plant that grows in certain habitats, under pristine conditions. Therefore, becoming isolated from bamboo forestry is detrimental to their survival. Researchers investigated the “impact of road construction on giant panda’s habitat and its carrying capacity in the Qinling Mountains” (Fan et al., 2011, p. 145).
First, the scientists determined a study area that would serve as their representative sample of the population. The south slope of the Qinling Mountains was chosen because it contained a rich population of Qinling giant pandas, and the environmental conditions were optimal for bamboo growth. Secondly,

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