Asia

Giant pandas

Introduction

"Giant pandas are black and white bears that live in temperate-zone bamboo forests in central China. Among the best recognized—but rarest—animals in the world, they have come to symbolize endangered species and conservation efforts. As few as 1,600 giant pandas survive in the mountain forests of central China. More than 300 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world; most of these pandas are in China."

Description

"Most of the body and belly of the giant panda are white, contrasting sharply with the black ears, black limbs and shoulders, and black patches over the eyes." Females weigh around 220 pounds. Male weighs around 250 pounds.

Habitat

"The giant panda was once found in hilly ravines at lower elecations, but populations have been forced into mountains. The species can be found in temperate montane forest at elecations of 1,200 to 4,100 metres, where there is an abundance of bamboo. Unlike some other bear species, the panda does not hibernate, instead descending to lower elecations in winter to avoid severe weather. It may also make seasonal movements to different elecations to select certain bamboo species or to take advantages of new shoots in spring."


Adaptation

"It's molars and premolar teeth are wider and flatter than those of other bears, allowing it to grind bamboo. This species is also unusual in having a 'thumb', which is actually a modified wrist bone that enables the giant panda to dexterously grasp bamboo stalks."

Food Chain

"The giant panda is unusual in the extreme specialization of its diet, which consists almost entirely bamboo." Pandas are carnivore. "Although 99% of the giant panda's diet consists of bamboo, it also occasionally eats other plant material and will even sometimes eat meat."

Reasons for endangerment

"Habitat loss is the greatest cause of the decline of Giant panda. The giant panda receives the highest level of protection under China's Wildlife Protection law. After years of decline, the giant panda is now though to be increasing in the wild."
If we don't protect Giant Pandas, they will die out real quickly and this animal will not exist anymore. You don't want your kids to not know there's an animal called "panda"... So donate money to protect the Giant Pandas!

Video for Giant panda

Baby Panda Sneezing

Work cited

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathaninsandiego/4323508641/">San Diego Shooter</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>Zaaza08,4,


jamesccostello, Baby Panda Sneezing, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAcdv, 2009.


  1. IUCN Red List (January, 2012)
  2. http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  3. WWF (June, 2002)
    http://wwf.panda.org/
  4. Servheen, C., Herrero, S. and Peyton, B. (1999) Bears: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Bear and Polar Bear Specialist Groups, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. Available at:
    http://data.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/1999-004.pdf
  5. CITES (October, 2002)
    http://www.cites.org/
  6. Macdonald, D. (2001) The New Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  7. PANDAS OF THE SLEEPING DRAGON (The Natural World) (1994, d. BBC).
  8. PANDAS ARE NOT ALWAYS CUDDLY (Wildlife on One) (1992, d. BBC).
  9. Lumpkin, S. (2006) Pers. comm.