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

Journal or Book Title: Science

Volume/Issue: 292

Page Number(s): 98-101

Year Published: 2001


It is generally perceived that biodiversity is better protected from human activites after an area is designated as a protected area. However, we found that this common perception was not true in Wolong Nature Reserve (south-western 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-establishement 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 reserve's establishment was much higher then before the reserve was creatd, and the fragmentation of high quality 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.

Type of Publication: Journal Article