China just announced that it has secured over $1.6 billion in funding for a massive panda reserve that will help the animals recover their numbers in the wild. The Giant Panda National Park will cover 10,000 square miles – twice as big as Yosemite Park and three times as big as Yellowstone – of mountainous wilderness where pandas can breed and live without human encroachment.

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The park will be constructed in the Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. All of the 2,000 wild pandas in the world live in these three provinces, with 80% in Sichuan. Pandas in the different provinces are currently isolated, but creating a park will allow them to join together and, hopefully, reproduce.

Related: Giant pandas removed from the endangered species list in huge conservation win

China announced plans for the park last year, but the project didn’t have the funding to make it a reality. The Bank of China and the Sichuan Department of Forestry joined together to make the park happen over the next five years.


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