Between 2000 and 2002, the Chinese State Forestry Administration attempted to count every giant panda living in the temperate mountain forests of central China. The work revealed not only that nearly 1,600 pandas remain in the wild but also where, exactly, they reside. Although scientists have long been aware that pandas live only in isolated forest belts where bamboo grows, they were surprised to discover that pandas also prefer to live in old-growth forest—forest that has never been logged. The finding could help shape how the remaining panda habitat is protected.
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