Panda Rescue: Changing the Future for Endangered Wildlife


The giant panda is the world's most beloved animal — and one of the rarest.

Firefly Animal Rescue is a new series of books about endangered and threatened species and what is being done to protect them. It is aimed at readers aged 10 and up with accessible text and color photographs.

Each book introduces readers to a featured animal, explains the threats it is facing, and explores efforts to protect it. Young readers will be inspired by the ...

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The giant panda is the world's most beloved animal — and one of the rarest.

Firefly Animal Rescue is a new series of books about endangered and threatened species and what is being done to protect them. It is aimed at readers aged 10 and up with accessible text and color photographs.

Each book introduces readers to a featured animal, explains the threats it is facing, and explores efforts to protect it. Young readers will be inspired by the leading scientists and conservationists who work in the field, in labs and on the public stage. The books conclude with additional resources for those who want to help.

Panda Rescue takes readers into the remote bamboo forests of China, where scientists can spend years without ever seeing the elusive animal. It looks inside one of the largest breeding centres in China and reveals some controversial attempts to save the species. And it explains how our fascination with captive pandas has become a threat of its own.

Tracing the colorful history of the black-and-white bear, Panda Rescue shows why many conservationists remain hopeful about the animal's future.

About the Firefly Animal Rescue series:

The Firefly Animal Rescue identifies endangered and threatened species and what is being done to protect them. Combining lively, accessible text and stunning color photographs, each book provides a detailed overview of the species, describing its characteristics, behavior, habits, physiology and more.

"These attractive books are a call to action... fascinating readable accounts."
- School Library Journal

"Succinct introductions to the science and practice of wildlife conservation... written in accessible, lively language."
- Booklist

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Editorial Reviews

Green Teacher - Debra Bridgman
Award winning... With beautiful photography and inspiring examples of individuals passionately devoted to wildlife conservation, these are excellent resource for the classroom or school library.
Calgary Herald - Leanne Dohy
Excellent... educates young readers about the animal and the challenges it faces in the fight for survival.
Edmonton Sun
Exceptionally readable.
Toronto Star - Pippa Wysong
Loads of neat stuff about these amazing animals, why they are endangered, and the cool things people do to try to save them.
Canadian Materials - Gillian Richardson
Challenges readers to learn more and offer support through international conservation organizations... Recommended.
Library Media Connection - Ruie Chehak
[review of series:] Anyone interested in learning more about endangered animals will find these books fascinating... This series will make a strong addition to any school library.
Victoria Times Colonist - Alison Chadsey
Bortolotti does not pontificate or give easy answers. Descriptive color photos and clear text make for a very readable book about important conservation efforts.
Virginian-Pilot - Krys Stefansky
Extremely readable and engaging text.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Primary research, lively writing, and dramatic use of color photographs... easygoing layout will attract reluctant readers while the intelligent approach will keep them reading.
BC Parent
Full of facts, photos and accessible information.
St Catharines Standard - Lian Goodall
Fascinating conservation issues... layout of the books is very strongly done, making them easy to use... subject matter is intellectually exciting.
Canadian Children's Book News - Brenda Halliday
Designed to appeal even to a child who is "not a reader." Yet they are comprehensive enough to provide a good overview for an adult... a balanced exploration of the complex issues involved in the conservation effort.
Resource Links - Linda Irvine
Engaging text, stunning photographs... The text is clear, relatively easy to read and gives very good depth without being ponderous... highly recommended.
Today's Parent
Filled with spectacular photos, informative maps and charts and up-to-the minute information... manages to convey hope, while being honest with young readers.
Booklist / RBB - Gillian Engberg
Succinct introductions to the science and practice of wildlife conservation... written in accessible, lively language and nicely illustrated with exciting color photos, these will be useful for reports and browsing.
Children's Literature
The panda springs to life in this fun, easy to read, non-fiction book. The book gives a lively, factual account of the panda and includes colorful pictures and timelines to help break up the information. Each page details an easy to read section on topics such as: the panda's natural habitat, scientists who work with the panda, pandas at play, and pandas in captivity. Along with presenting information about the panda, the book also helps to dispel myths about the animal. For example, although the panda may look charming, they can be powerful and dangerous and are compared to the elephant. The title may be a bit misleading as the book includes much more information than just pandas being rescued. Instead it is a wealth of information on the black and white bear from the East. Students researching the panda for science will find this book invaluable in their studies! 2003, Firefly Books, Ages 8 to 12.
— Mindy Hardwick
School Library Journal
Gr 3-8-Although Bortolotti supplies basic information such as physical characteristics of pandas and tigers, he emphasizes the threats to the animals' survival and ways their chances might be enhanced. Loss of habitat due to expanding human populations in Southeast Asia and China plus hunting account for much of the species' decline. Yet, conservationists and scientists are trying to ensure their future in various ways. Among the books' interesting features are profiles of some of these workers plus visits to areas where conservation programs are in place. Bortolotti doesn't minimize the obstacles, such as convincing practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine to find alternatives to cures made from tiger parts. An engaging writing style accompanied by stunning full-color photographs will hold readers' interest. Those who want to take action themselves can use a list of suggested Web sites at the end. These fascinating, readable accounts not only show children what is being done to save these animals, but also may encourage them to join the efforts.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552975572
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/15/2003
  • Series: Firefly Animal Rescue Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Bortolotti is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in many magazines, including Equinox, Canadian Geographic, and OWL. He is the author of Exploring Saturn.

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Table of Contents

The beauty of the beast
Where do pandas live?
The story so far
Land of the panda

If a tree falls in the forest
ON THE FRONTLINES: Paradise regained
AT WORK: Colby Loucks
A star in the East

The panda goes West
The ironic threat
Pandas in captivity
AT WORK: Rebecca Snyder

Panda play
Its own worst enemy?
Pandas inside out
The pickiest eater

ON THE FRONTLINES: Stand and be counted
Numbers game
AT WORK: Matt Durnin

The skin trade
ON THE FRONTLINES: Share the land
Splendor in the bamboo
A breed apart

AT WORK: Luo Lan
What's is the panda's future?
Fast Facts

How you can help

Author's note

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First Chapter

The Beauty of the Beast

No animal has made a more powerful impression on humanity in so little time.

In the West and even in its native China, the giant panda has been part of popular culture for less than a century. In North America, few had even seen a live panda before 1936, when one was exhibited at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo. But only a few decades later, the black-and-white bear had become the most beloved animal in the world, and an emblem of all endangered species.

According to George Schaller, the first Western scientist to study them, "There are two giant pandas: the one that exists in our mind and the one that lives in its wilderness home." It's true. Wild pandas are unimpressive in size and speed. They're unsociable and spend almost all their time eating, sleeping and defecating. Yet many people look into the panda's round face with those expressive eyes, and declare it the most intriguing and loveable of creatures. The giant panda has charmed us with its simple, unique beauty.

But this beauty is fragile. Three million years ago, the panda's range extended throughout much of eastern China and into Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Vietman. Today, with just over 1,000 remaining in the wild, the giant panda is one of the rarest of mammals, scratching out a living in a country of more than a billion people. If current trends continue — especially the destruction of its habitat — stuffed toys may be all that future generations will have left of these real-life teddy bears.

Fortunately, the Chinese — with the help of dedicated scientists and conservationists around the world — are beginning to reverse these trends.

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