Should we let pandas die out naturally?

No. Pandas are herbivorous animals descended from a long line of carnivores. As a consequence their teeth and digestion aren’t very well suited to their bamboo diet. They are solitary and reproduce slowly. They also don’t play any especially important role in their ecosystems. But however irrational it is, we find pandas cute and they raise a lot more money as a flagship conservation species than we spend on protecting them. Concern for pandas also helps the many other unique species that live in the same Chinese forests. It isn’t so much about the value of the pandas themselves as the wider cause they represent. Pandas might or might not eventually die out anyway through ‘natural causes’, but let’s not kid ourselves: the reason they are endangered now is because of human encroachment on their habitat.