China's biggest nature reserve, the Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve, in the foggy mountains of southwest Sichuan province is now wired for broadband. The great digital leap forward is aimed at panda protection. "This will enable researchers to process real-time data on the pandas, including photos and video signals, around the clock at any given corner of the nature reserve, or observe giant panda cubs on a daily basis without having to step out of their offices," the Chinese news agency Xinhua said. "Digital technology will help promote information sharing on giant panda protection," added Zhang Weimin, director of the reserve.
Wolong covers 200,000 hectares and is home to 76 giant pandas -- one of the world's most endangered species. Statistics from China's state forestry administration released last year show the number of pandas in the wild in China has risen by more than 40 percent from 1,110 in the 1980s to 1,590. "But despite this, the animal's existence is menaced by problems including loss of habitat and low reproduction rate," Xinhua rued.