Asia

China plans panda preserve 3 times size of Yellowstone park

  • FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, one-month-old triplet panda cubs receive body checks at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province when China announced the birth of extremely rare panda triplets in another success for the country's artificial breeding program. China is planning to create a preserve for the giant panda that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National Park in the western U.S. The Xinhua News Agency says the panda preserve will incorporate parts of three western provinces to provide an unbroken range for the endangered animals in which they can meet and mate in the interests of enriching their gene pool. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, one-month-old triplet panda cubs receive body checks at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province when China announced the birth of extremely rare panda triplets in another success for the country's artificial breeding program. China is planning to create a preserve for the giant panda that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National Park in the western U.S. The Xinhua News Agency says the panda preserve will incorporate parts of three western provinces to provide an unbroken range for the endangered animals in which they can meet and mate in the interests of enriching their gene pool. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2017, file photo, Bao Bao, the beloved 3-year-old panda at the National Zoo in Washington, enjoys a final morning in her bamboo-filled habitat before her one-way flight to China to join a panda breeding program. China is planning to create a preserve for the giant panda that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National Park in the western U.S. The Xinhua News Agency says the panda preserve will incorporate parts of three western provinces to provide an unbroken range for the endangered animals in which they can meet and mate in the interests of enriching their gene pool. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2017, file photo, Bao Bao, the beloved 3-year-old panda at the National Zoo in Washington, enjoys a final morning in her bamboo-filled habitat before her one-way flight to China to join a panda breeding program. China is planning to create a preserve for the giant panda that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National Park in the western U.S. The Xinhua News Agency says the panda preserve will incorporate parts of three western provinces to provide an unbroken range for the endangered animals in which they can meet and mate in the interests of enriching their gene pool. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)  (The Associated Press)

China is planning to create a preserve for the giant panda that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National Park in the western U.S.

The Xinhua News Agency says the panda preserve will incorporate parts of three western provinces to provide an unbroken range for the endangered animals in which they can meet and mate in the interests of enriching their gene pool.

Xinhua said about 170,000 people will have to be moved elsewhere to make way for the 27,134-square kilometer (10,476-square mile) preserve.

Giant pandas are China's unofficial national mascot and live mainly in the mountains of Sichuan, with some in neighboring Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. An estimated 1,864 live in the wild, where they are threatened chiefly with habitat loss, and another 200 in captivity.