Chinese earthquake destroyed panda heartland

The home of most of the world's giant pandas was devastated by last month's quake in southwest China. At least 8% of the endangered bear's habitat was completely destroyed, according to state media.

Only 1,590 pandas still live in the wild, all of them in China. Of these, 1,400 were in the quake-hit region, Xinhua said.

"The dense forests covering these places have now turned into bare land," Yan Xun, a State Forestry Administration official, was quoted as saying. "Landslides and forestry destruction pose severe threats to the lives of the surviving pandas."

The earthquake also devastated Sichuan’s Wolong research centre, the world’s most important panda reserve, killing one panda with another still missing.

See full story