Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Giant Panda

Panda bears are endangered mammals. Various causes contribute to the loss of the Giant Panda. The influences of some organizations are helping in saving the panda, and breeding them to increase their numbers. 

Life of a panda

         Panda bears live mainly high up in the mountains forests in western China, although some were said to be living in northern Vietnam as well. They live mainly in bamboo forest because bamboo is a main source of food for them. They eat leaves and steams and different types of species but occasionally will hunt for rodent as well to get their meat. A normal day for a panda is to go out and find some bamboo to eat and rest and then eat more bamboo. Pandas do not hibernate like other bears do.
          Pandas are known for being solitary creatures, the only time they go out to find another panda is when they need to mate then they leave after mating. When the baby is born the cubs stay with their mothers from 1-½ years to 3 years. Then they go off on their own and live a solitary life like pandas do. They play a crucial role in maintaining the bamboo forests by watching the growth of the trees and spreading the seeds for more bamboo to grow. 

Why are pandas endangered?

     The most common reasons for the panda’s extinction comes from poachers hunting them, and the destruction of the bamboo forests. Poachers in China set up traps to capture the panda bears, they use the pandas for their furs despite the laws and protected status of the pandas. Poachers also accidentally kill the pandas when hunting for other animals in the forest, poaching is not a big threat anymore thanks to the panda reserves.
  The loss of habitat comes from farmers using the land for development making the areas where the pandas live less and making the pandas move more upland. It is hard for the pandas to find bamboo when they are constantly having to move to find more food. Also any alter to the area kills the bamboo. Pandas must consume up to 45 pounds of bamboo and with the destruction of the forests less bamboo is available for the panda to eat.


What is being done to help save the pandas?

Many pandas are located in zoos right now to be bred to help increase their numbers. They are now known for being the poster child for all endangered species.  The Chinese government established more than 50 panda reserves around the forests. Right now about 61% of the country’s panda population is protected by these reserves. (world wildlife foundation)
The world wildlife foundation is working together with the Chinese government to help increase the areas of habitat under legal protection.They are working together to start patrolling against illegal poaching and capturing of the panda. They also are doing continued research and monitoring of the panda and their habitats. The program has helped panda reserves cover more than 3.8million acres of forest.



Fact sheet panda. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from Defenders of Wildlife website:

Giant panda. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2013, from National Geographic website:

Giant panda. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2013, from World Wildlife Foundation website:

Shen, G., Feng, C., Xie, Z., Ouyang, Z., Li, J., & Pascal, M. (2008). Proposed Conservation Landscape for Giant Pandas in the Minshan Mountains, China. Conservation Biology, 22(5), 1144-1153. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01038.