Between 80 and 100 percent of livable habitat will disappear from a major panda enclave in China.
Climate change is likely to decimate bamboo populations in an isolated region of China that serves as home for nearly 20 percent of the world's wild giant pandas.
As a result, according to new projections, between 80 and 100 percent of livable panda habitat will disappear from the region in China's Qinling Mountains by the end of the 21st century.
The new findings illustrate how environmental impacts can reverberate through the food web.findings "Ninety-nine percent of food that pandas eat in the wild is bamboo," said Jack Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing. "If there's no bamboo, then pandas can't survive."
"I think probably there is hope, but only if we take active measures at once," he added. "If we don't, then probably not. It really depends on what we will do."
With fewer than 1,600 individuals left living in the wild, giant pandas are one of the most endangered species in the world. But most panda-conservation research has focused on human impacts, said Liu, who has been studying pandas and their habitats for 17 years.