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Environment / Sustainability

Pandas: Elusive, mysterious survivors

September 8, 2010

Giant pandas have become an iconic emblem of the Earth's decline and the ongoing struggle to save worldwide species diversity and their supporting habitats. Endangered species conservationist Sarah Bexell will speak at CSU on Thursday, Sept. 9 about the giant panda and how it has managed to survive.

The giant panda, Jing Jing, takes at rest. She was born at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan Province, China.

Thursday, Sept. 9, 3:30 p.m.
Johnson Theatre
Johnson Hall

"Giant pandas: Ultimate survivors," is a lecture being hosted by the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources in conjunction with the "International Viewpoints: Society and Conservation in the 21st Century" lecture series. 

Symbol of love...political pawn?

Conservationist and guest speaker Sarah Bexel Ph.D., has this to say about giant pandas:

"Giant pandas are many things to many people: a universal symbol of love, a living toy, an evolutionary marvel, a political pawn, an icon of Earth's decline, and much more."

Battle to save species diversity

"Above all, giant pandas represent the ongoing battle to save worldwide species diversity and their supporting habitats. They also are emblematic of the many environmental controversies that rage across the globe.

Bexel has been working in endangered species conservation and research for 15 years.

"Despite nearly five decades of research and conservation efforts, giant pandas still flirt with extinction – because the primary threats to their survival have not been addressed. In this session we will discuss the history of giant panda conservation, current efforts to conserve them, and plans for their future.

Pandas a measure of progress

"We will also discuss the many barriers to the current health and survival of wildlife in China. Paradoxically, wild giant pandas are one of the most elusive and mysterious of animals, yet universally they are one of the most recognized species on Earth.

"We will also discuss how their survival status signifies a report card on human behavior and how we chose to interact with the natural world. As we learn more about these noble, wild animals, their behavior, and their struggle for survival in the modern world, we will look beyond what is considered cute and examine our own responsibilities towards promoting the co-existence of all species on Earth."

Guest speaker Sarah Bexell, Ph.D.

Sarah Bexell is the Director of Conservation Education at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Sichuan Province, China.

She is also a research scholar in the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver. She has been working in endangered species conservation and research for 15 years.

Giant pandas have become an iconic emblem of the ongoing struggle to save worldwide species diversity and their supporting habitats. Bexell will speak at CSU on Thursday, Sept. 9 about the giant panda and its remarkable ability to survive.


Contact: Esther Duke
E-mail: Esther.Duke@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-2197