CHENGDU, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Restoration of the giant panda habitat in southwest China's Sichuan Province after a catastrophic earthquake in 2008 has expanded the area by 2.3 percent, local forestry authorities said.
The 8.0-magnitude quake destroyed 861,000 mu (57,400 hectares) of giant panda habitat, which accounted for 3.24 percent of the total in Sichuan, and damaged 29,000 mu of the potential habitat, according to the provincial forestry department.
Therefore, restoration of giant panda habitat was an important part of post-quake ecological reconstruction.
"In addition to growing bamboo to repair habitats affected by the quake, we also improved the environment in the reserve through multiple measures, such as increasing low-carbon facilities," said Li Mingfu with the Tangjiahe national nature reserve.
So far, nearly 4.49 million mu of forests and grassland damaged by the quake have been restored, according to the department.
Sichuan is working to raise its forest coverage to 40 percent by 2020.