SCIENCE - Ecological degradation in protected areas: The Case of Wolong Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas


April 6, 2001 - <>; Marc Linderman; Zhiyun Ouyang; Li An; Jian Yang; Hemin Zhang

Journal or Book Title: Science

Keywords: biodiversity; conservation; endangered species; environmental ethics; human population

Volume/Issue: 292

Page Number(s): 98-101

Year Published: 2001

It is generally perceived that biodiversity is better protected from human activities after an area is designated as a protected area. However, we found that this common perception was not true in Wolong Nature Reserve (southwestern China), which was established in 1975 as a flagship protected area for the world-renowned endangered giant pandas. Analyses of remote sensing data from pre- and post-establishment periods indicate that the reserve has become more fragmented and less suitable for giant panda habitation. The rate of loss of high-quality habitat after the reserveÕs establishment was much higher than before the reserve was created, and the fragmentation of highquality habitat became far more severe. After the creation of the reserve, rates of habitat loss and fragmentation inside the reserve unexpectedly increased to levels that were similar to or higher than those outside the reserve, in contrast to the situation before the reserve was created.

DOI: 10.1126/science.1058104

Type of Publication: Journal Article



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