Giant panda

By erionna jones

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Endangered Species

There are only about 1,000 giant pandas left in the wild. Perhaps 100 pandas live in zoos, where they are always among the most popular attractions. Much of what we know about pandas comes from study of these zoo animals, because their wild cousins are so rare and elusive.

Cubs

The female giant panda usually give birth to a single cub between July and September.The giant panda cub is helpless after birth, and for the first few weeks of its life the female cares for it in a den located in the base of a hollow tree or in a cave.Female giant pandas usually give birth only once every two years. The giant panda reaches sexual maturity at around 5.5 to 6.5 years old and may live for around 14 to 30 years in the wild This species has often wrongly been thought to be a poor breeder due to its low breeding success in captivity. However, in the wild it has been found to have a breeding rate comparable to other bear species

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Habitat

The giant panda was once found in hilly ravines at lower elevations, but populations have now been forced into the mountains.Unlike some other bear species, the giant panda does not hibernate.Habitat loss is the greatest cause of the decline of the giant panda. Large areas of China’s natural forest have been cleared for agriculture, timber and firewood, to meet the needs of the large and growing human population

Eating habits

Giant pandas feed on mainly bamboo.They eat more than 65 ponds of bamboo per day. Bamboo is a very critical piece of the giant pandas diet. Bamboo only blooms ever so often.In 1980, quantities of fountain bamboo bloomed all at once them quickly died. And as a result, many pandas died of starvation
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Conservation

The giant panda receives the highest level of protection under China’s Wildlife Protection Law.Captive breeding programmes are believed to be important to the giant panda, both as insurance against the species going extinct in the wild, and to create a source of individuals for reintroduction into the wild when this becomes feasible. The success of captive breeding has markedly increased in recent years, thanks to significant advances in managing the health of captive pandas and a greater understanding of the species’ reproductive biology. After years of decline, the giant panda is now thought to be increasing in the wild. Despite remaining in grave danger of extinction, the giant panda is one of the universally recognised symbols of conservation and has been the logo of WWF since the 1960s
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