China is planning to create a reserve for the giant panda which will be three times the size of Yellowstone National Park in the US.
The panda reserve will incorporate parts of three western provinces to provide an unbroken range for the endangered animals in which they can meet and mate, in the interests of enriching their gene pool.
Xinhua News Agency said about 170,000 people will have to be moved elsewhere to make way for the 10,476-square mile (27,134-square kilometre) reserve.
Giant pandas are China's unofficial national mascot and live mainly in the mountains of Sichuan, with some in neighbouring Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.
An estimated 1,864 pandas live in the wild, where they are threatened chiefly with habitat loss, with another 200 in captivity.