Native to the mountain forests of southwest China,the giant panda is one of the most beloved animals in the world.In China they are considered a national treasure.Even with this exalted status,giant pandas are in endangered:only about 1,600 live the wild,according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN).About 100 lives in the zoos around the world.
Giant pandas are identified by their distinctive black and white coloring.Their ears,muzzles,eyes,shoulders and legs are black while the rest of their body is white.Their thick hair keeps them warm in the cool wet mountain zones. size
Giant pandas are 4 to 5(1.2 to 1.5 meters)tall and weigh up to 300 lbs(136 kilograms).By comparison,their distant relatives,red pandas,are only 20 to 26 inches(50 to 65 cm)tall and weigh 12 to 20 lbs(5.4 to 9 kg). (red panada)
Wild pandas live only in remote,mountains regions in central China.these high bamboo forest are cool and wet just as pandas like it.they may climb as high as 13,000 feet to feed on higher slopes in the summer season.They do not roars like other bears.Giant pandas make their dens from hollowed out logs or stumps of conifer trees found within the forest Diet
Giant pandas eat bamboo 12 hours a day.That adds upto 28 lbs.(12.5 kg) of bamboo each day.But one reason they eat so much is bamboo is low in nutrients.Giant pandas also eat rodents,fish,insects and birds.The giant pandas stomach is ideal for digesting bamboo.
Breeding and population
Giant pandas have a highly developed sense of smell that males use to avoid each other and for finding females for mating in the season.Between 95 and 160 days of becoming pregnant,the female panda will give birth.The new born cub is blind,hairless and tiny,weighing only 85 to 140 grams.(3_5 oz).Completely helpless,the cub cannot move on its own for nearly three months.In turn,the mother is very protective and careful in tending to her cub during this time.
The main reasons that pandas populations have declined is habitat destruction.As the human population in China continues to grow,pandas habitat get taken over by development,pushing them into smaller and less livable areas.Habitat destruction also leads to food shortages.Another reason is breeding season is between March and May.Poaching is not that big a problem but sometimes pandas get caught in trap made for other animals.Giant pandas live only 25 to 30 years. While an increasing panda population is good news for now,it is predicted that climate change will eliminate over 35% of the pandas bamboo habitat in the next 80 years.
What you should do to save pandas
Wildlife reserves have been set up in parts of China to make sure pandas have a home,and care is taken to make sure they survive in the wild.You can help by donating or adopting a panda through the world wildlife fund.