Earth & Environment

Should we let pandas become extinct?

The giant panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world’s most threatened animals. They are threatened by continued habitat loss and by a very low birthrate, both in the wild and in captivity.

Conservation efforts appear to be working, with a BBC News article stating that in 2006 there were 40 panda reserves in China, up from only 13 reserves two decades previously, and there are plenty of people who support and give money to the cause.

However not all conservationists agree that the huge sums of money being spent on conversing pandas is well spent. Naturalist Chris Packham expressed his views in an interview for the Guardian;

The truth is, pandas are extraordinarily expensive to keep going. We spend millions and millions of pounds on pretty much this one species, and a few others, when we know that the best thing we could do would be to look after the world’s biodiversity hotspots with greater care. Without habitat, you’ve got nothing. So maybe if we took all the cash we spend on pandas and just bought rainforest with it, we might be doing a better job.

The following video explores the options and various viewpoints;

We would love to hear your views in the comments below.