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The photographs are some of the most amazing images ever of pandas, snow leopards, golden snub-nosed monkeys, red pandas, blood pheasants and other species in their remote habitat, which were all caught on film as part of long-term wildlife monitoring projects set up in panda nature reserves by the Chinese government and WWF.

The new photos, taken in 2011 and 2012, showcase numerous diverse species found in the mountainous forests of the upper reach of China's Yangtze River Basin.

John Barker, regional manager at WWF-UK said: Today, perhaps the greatest threat to the long term survival of the giant pandas is the fragmentation of their habitat as a result of development and even recreational pressures. Maintaining and improving management of forest corridors linking different giant panda populations is a conservation priority and using camera trap technology allows capture of critical corridor management data."

The Yangtze watershed also provides millions of people with food, freshwater and their livelihoods.

"When WWF started working in China in 1980, our focus was solely on panda conservation, but after decades of working in the country, we have expanded our efforts to include work with local communities on sustainable natural resource management and many other conservation issues," said Rose Niu, managing director of the China program at WWF-US. "Our goal is to safeguard a healthy habitat for the species that live there, while also helping to provide long-term sustainable livelihoods for the people - it's the best win-win proposition."

WWF was the first conservation group invited into China to study the giant panda. It is thought that only 1,600 giant pandas remain. WWF is supporting a new nationwide survey of giant pandas using sophisticated technology such as DNA studies that will help track pandas in their remote mountain habitat.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

PHOTOS : http://www.divshare.com/download/22783311-258

ABOUT WWF: WWF is the world's leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change.

For more information:

George Smeeton, Senior Press Officer WWF-UK
Tel: 01483 412 388, Mob: 07917 052 948, email: GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk

Jenna Bonello, WWF-US, (202) 495-4541, jenna.bonello@wwfus.org
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