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Mammalian species available in the markets
Rhizomys sinensis - Chinese Bamboo rat
This species is considered by some to be an "enemy" of the giant panda because it burrows beneath the panda's food source, bamboo, in central China and eats the root, effectively killing the plant. However, other ecologists theorize that this little rodent plays an important role in the life cycle of bamboo. Either way, with a large number of mammalian species in the food markets coming from central China, it would be interesting to see some studies on habitat disturbance in those areas and whether the bamboo rat or other more easily located mammalian species could actually be an indicator species for environmental health in this region.
World Chelonian Trust
PO Box 1445