BBC - Earth - Why human beings are just like giant pandas
Wolong Nature Reserve is home to around pandas. connection and relationship between humans and the natural systems of the planet. Humans and giant pandas don't look much alike, but in one key lead to humans then split from the rest of the apes sometime between 13 and. Pandas are more than just cute faces though. You might not believe it, but humans have more in common with these cute creatures than you.
For instance, some free riders were not helping with forest monitoring, but were still enjoying the resulting benefits brought by forest restoration. But in small groups, participants can be overburdened. The researchers found the middle "sweet spot" to guide policymakers to shape effective participation.
Giant Pandas and Humans: A Lesson in Sustainability
A path for recovery is emerging — one that demands a melding of sciences from both the human and natural world. Walk a mile in your subject's shoes Science is all about data points, though insight comes not just from doing research, but also from living it.
Residents who lived farther away and were offered less money were less inclined to participate. The researchers also had to move beyond just taking a simplistic point of view — siding with the pandas and their global appeal. To achieve a balance, for two decades the team members steeped themselves in the less publicized lives of generations of Wolong residents.
They learned the reality of everyday choices: Do I chop down this tree and make it hard for a panda, or do I pay for my child's school? When is money enough of an incentive to persuade people to monitor a forest? How much do I care about what my neighbor s think?
A study Liu and colleagues published in showed that people are more likely to enroll in conservation programs if their neighbors have done so — insight the authors noted could be employed by policymakers.
Combining the insight with research has helped parse out how people react to conservation policies. It has helped the research team craft productive questions to determine how the community members make their everyday decisions. Being present in the community also helps researchers tackle surprises. For example, inthe Chinese government paid local households to switch from firewood to electricity to heat their homes and cook. For them, the subsidies per household made it financially sensible — and personally appealing — to split up the crowded arrangements and set up new, independent households.
And that meant more households using more natural resources. Pinpointing the problem helped inspire the Chinese government to find new ways to make electricity affordable, including building a new hydroelectric power plant. What happens in Wolong doesn't stay in Wolong The truths learned from 20 years in Wolong resonate in other parts of the world, even if the particulars are different.
10 Ways Pandas Are Just Like Us
In China, benign pandas inspire adoration, but in Nepal, tigers, despite having their own fans, bring an element of fear. Pandas, after all, eat only bamboo. Tigers, on occasion, attack people. Yet applying the Wolong framework to Nepal may help preserve habitats while allowing the people who share the forests with native animals to thrive.
They've researched shifts in the number and composition of households, and the effects of sweeping changes like industrialization and globalization on rural areas and conservation.
Learning from pandas: How humans can approach sustainability in tandem with nature
For example, as people venture into the park more frequently, tigers seem to shift their natural body clocks and move around more at night to avoid their human neighbors. This coupled human-and-nature approach also has led to important insights into why some policies that restrict access to forest resources have floundered as they run up against long-held traditions and practices.
The result has been to open the door to new insights that should help to improve policies in Chitwan as they did in Wolong. The multidisciplinary methods that honor both nature and people are leading sustainability efforts around the world, whether they're used for the management of a nature reserve to preserve an endangered species, such as in Chitwan, or to understand people's attitudes toward black bears in East Texas to make conservation more effective. It's a small world Understanding how the flora and fauna in Wolong coexist with the people who live there offers a model for how a web of interconnected people and environments spans the globe.
In today's world of hyperconnectivity, " remote" doesn't mean so much anymore. The research group is turning its attention to how tightly bound the world is. They are starting to connect the dots to prove that what happens in China affects people on the other side of the world.
For example, between and63 Wolong pandas have been loaned to zoos in China and elsewhere around the globe, such as Washington, D. Those seemingly simple transactions of furry creatures and good will have broad consequences: Pandas mean jobs — from the pandas' keepers and veterinarians to those who grow and deliver their mountains of bamboo, to the people who broker and manage the loans and manage the public appearances of the pandas.
Pandas move merchandise that is manufactured, delivered and sold.
Learning from pandas: How humans can approach sustainability in tandem with nature | Michigan Radio
Guests travel nationally and internationally to visit these imported celebrities. Money changes hands over and over all over the world. Walking around on four legs means that your back is horizontal, parallel to the ground. That in turn determines how the bones in your back are arranged, and how they join to your leg and arm bones.
Pandas spend a lot of time sitting on their bottoms Humans are different. We hold our backs and spines vertically, at right-angles to the ground.
Apes often do the same thing. The question is, when and why did this upright posture evolve? They wanted something that wasn't an ape or a monkey, because those species have experienced a lot of the same evolutionary pressures as us. That makes it hard to disentangle which factors caused which evolutionary shift.
View image of Giant pandas survive almost entirely on bamboo Credit: Harvey Barrison, CC by 2. Russo and Williams wanted to find out if pandas' spines had also changed shape in a similar way to ours. Pandas had fewer vertebrae in their lower backs, and the vertebrae were a different shape If they had, it would suggest that pandas and humans evolved their upright postures for similar reasons.
On the other hand, if pandas' spines were not like ours, that would suggest that they evolved their upright posture for different reasons. They compared the shapes of individual backbones — vertebrae — from pandas and closely-related bears.China's Deadly Pandas
Compared to their closest relatives, pandas had fewer vertebrae in their lower backs, and the vertebrae were a different shape.