Food and Habitat
- Pandas eat bamboo, a hard long grass.
- It is found in central Chinese forests.
- Giant Pandas belong to the carnivora order but are 99% vegetarian for bamboo.
- Very rarely hunt for small rodents or fish.
- Humans are the main predators but as babies, leopards are dangerous.
- Wild ones live in central Chinese mountains where the cool, wet, and temperate climate is, along with bamboo forests.
- Will also rarely eat windflowers and grasses.
- Giving birth, females will stay in a cave or a hollow tree.
- Once older, many roam the forest alone.
- The Giant Panda is mammal with a black and white fur coat.
- Black fur is usually on the eyes, muzzle, legs, arms, and shoulders. The rest is white fur.
- The males can weigh 350lbs. while the females weigh no more than 280lbs.
- They can grow to be 4-6ft. long, including a 5.1in. tail, and 1ft.10" to 2ft.10" up to the shoulders.
- Communication is by leaving a dark, sticky substance on a tree which the next panda will receive information about the first's age, gender, and reproductive status.
- 11 vocal sounds are also used by pandas.
- The pandas also have larger jaw muscles than other bears, do not hibernate, and have a sixth digit on each hand.
- Some people suspect the black and white coloring is camouflage against rocks.
- They have very strong jaws and molars and jaws for eating bamboo.
- They also have a sixth digit that serves as a thumb for holding bamboo.
- In the winter they move to higher elevations where the bamboo is for they don't hibernate do to their diet.
- They live most of their life's alone except for mating season and when the female raises the young.
- In the event of a animal predator, they climb a tree with their long and sharp nails and wait for it to leave.
Why It's Endangered
- Continual habitat loss for industry in China is creating a bad situation for these animals. It takes away their food supply and gives them less space to roam.
- Poaching, illegal hunting (usually for their fur coats), is also taking out the population.
- Another factor that's very important is the very low birthrate in both the wild and captivity.
What's Being Done
- The Chinese government is working with WWF to save this species. This includes research on improving bamboo growing.
- Public awareness is also important to this.
- International breeding programs and more panda reserves (current number of 26) are helping.
- Pandas also need some change in isolation to strengthen the genetic material.
- Lack of breeding is a huge problem so research for insemination is key.