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In some cases, captive breeding can help reintroduce a species into isolated habitats where it had become extinct due to human pressures, provided those threats have been addressed to give the species a new chance of survival there. But captive breeding on its own isn't an effective method of conservation.

The best way to ensure the survival of giant pandas - as for lots of other threatened species - is to protect their wild habitat. That's the focus of our work with the Chinese government and local communities in areas with wild panda populations, where human activities such as road building, railway construction and mining cause habitat destruction and fragmentation. We've made some great progress, but we know there's a lot of work still to do.

Protecting an iconic species like the panda in the wild is also a good way to focus attention on the health and protection of some of the world's most precious wild places. This is good for all the species sharing that environment, as well as the people who depend on that area's natural resources.

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