Climate may force pandas to move

British scientists say shifting bamboo growth patterns in China resulting from climate change may force pandas to relocate in the future, the BBC reported. All 20 varieties of bamboo edible by pandas were found to be affected differently by global warming, resulting in significant shifts in growing ranges.


Edinburgh scientists used data from China’s southwestern Sichuan province to create a map of where different types of bamboo were expected to be growing between 2020 and 2080. York University scientists then used climate-modelling computer programmes to assess future bamboo growth trends.


Jon Lovett, who led the work at York University, noted that ecological conditions would play a significant role in the location of panda habitat.  "The results were particularly striking in that some of the key food plants were badly affected, whereas others actually increased their ranges under global warming," he said.


Steve Blackmore, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, said: "Pandas spend 14 hours a day eating, and bamboo forms 99% of their diet, so they are completely reliant on the right bamboo species being present in order to survive."


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