Pandas. What are they good for? Large, lethargic creatures who lie around eating nothing but bamboo all day and have no interest in sex. It's like they're asking to become extinct. So should we just sit back and let it happen? Or does the survival of the panda represent something important about the larger issue of environmental conservation?
With an estimated three species going extinct every hour, it seems ridiculous to focus so many funds and resources on one black and white bear with a death wish. But dig a little deeper and you'll find that despite the panda being used to grab attention, the money raised by charities such as the WWF is actually used on preserving the wider ecology: in this instance, the bamboo forest in China. This in turn helps preserve a number of other species - dwarf blue sheep, takin, and snub-nosed monkeys, to name a few.