Pandas in southwestern China are facing a food crisis with the blossoming of their staple food, bamboo. The blossoming of the arrow bamboo plant a phenomenon that occurs every 60-80 years – makes the plant inedible, leading researchers to warn that some pandas may starve to death. The blossoming destroys the bamboo plant, taking a decade or more to regenerate. In 1974 and 1983 two destructive flowerings of arrow bamboo over large areas left 250 pandas dead. Experts told the Xinhua news agency they have drawn up plans to transfer any starving pandas they find in the wild to temporary homes at specialist research and breeding centers.
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