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Media Advisory


NSF PA/M 02-34 - June 19, 2002

Dispatches and Images Available: Human Impact on Giant Panda Habitat

A team of researchers from Michigan State University left the United States for China on June 14 to continue a long-term study of how human population trends affect giant panda habitat in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, southwestern China.

Jianguo (Jack) Liu, an associate professor of fisheries and wildlife at Michigan State is leading the research team, which is partially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Liu received an award from NSF's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program in 1997 for his work on panda habitat. The MSU team will work with scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and China's Center for Giant Panda Research and Conservation to assess the rates of change in forest cover and giant panda habitat.

Liu's team last year published its findings on their work in Science. Using both data from a recently declassified spy satellite and NASA's Landsat satellites as well as information about the human settlements in the Wolong Reserve, the study showed that panda habitat inside the reserve was destroyed more quickly after the reserve was established.

NASA and the National Institutes of Health are also funding the research.

The team plans to send regular dispatches and images from the field back to the United States. They will be available as a link from the NSF Web site. Additional information also is available on the Michigan State site. See: research/ index.php3?article=10Jun2002-1

For more information contact: Bill Noxon (703) 292-8070/


The Panda Project: List of Dispatches

See also: Michigan State website

List of Dispatches

2 researchers looking at a map
Before departing Beijing for the Wolong Reserve, Jianguo Liu of Michigan State University and Zhiyun Ouyang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences check maps of the territory.
Photo courtesy: MSU

Singing children greet the group at Dalai Lake
Singing children greet the group at Dalai Lake.
Photo courtesy: MSU

Photo of panda eating bamboo
A panda enjoys bamboo at the Wolong Nature Reserve.
Photo courtesy: MSU

Researcher interviews Chen family
Graduate student Guangming He interviews members of the Chen family about changes they are experiencing as governmental policy changes to protect panda habitat.
Photo courtesy: MSU



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