This peaceful creature with a distinctive black and white coat is adored by the world and considered a national treasure in China.
The rarest member of the bear family, pandas lives mainly in bamboo forests high in the mountains of western China, where they subsist almost entirely on bamboo. The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. As a result of farming, deforestation and other development, the panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived.
Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity, they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared food. They must eat from 26 to 84 pounds of it every day, a formidable task for which they use their enlarged wrist bones that function as opposable thumbs.
The giant panda has a black-and-white coat. Adults measure around 1.2 to 1.8 m (4 to 6 ft) long, including a tail of about 13 cm (5.1 in), and 60 to 90 cm (2.0 to 3.0 ft) tall at the shoulder. Males can weigh up to 160 kg (350 lb). Females (generally 10–20% smaller than males) can weigh as little as 75 kg (170 lb), but can also weigh up to 125 kg (280 lb). Average adult weight is 100 to 115 kg (220 to 250 lb). Newborn pandas are about the size of a stick of butter—about 1/900th the size of its mother—but can grow to up to 330 pounds as adults. These bears are excellent tree-climbers despite their bulk.
The giant panda typically lives around 20 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity. The oldest captive, a female named Ming Ming, had a recorded age of 34.
The panda is a conservation reliant endangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country.Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study viaDNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000.
In the wild, the giant panda is a terrestrial animal and primarily spends its life roaming and feeding in the bamboo forests of the Qinling Mountains and in the hilly Sichuan Province. Giant pandas are generally solitary, and each adult has a defined territory, and a female is not tolerant of other females in her range. Pandas communicate through vocalization and scent marking such as clawing trees or spraying urine. They are able to climb and take shelter in hollow trees or rock crevices, but do not establish permanent dens. For this reason, pandas do not hibernate, which is similar to other subtropical mammals, and will instead move to elevations with warmer temperatures. Pandas rely primarily on spatial memory rather than visual memory.
Though the panda is often assumed to be docile, it has been known to attack humans, presumably out of irritation rather than aggression.
The giant panda has been a target of poaching by locals since ancient times and by foreigners since it was introduced to the West. Starting in the 1930s, foreigners were unable to poach giant pandas in China because of the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War, but pandas remained a source of soft furs for the locals. The population boom in China after 1949 created stress on the pandas’ habitat, and the subsequent famines led to the increased hunting of wildlife, including pandas. During the Cultural Revolution, all studies and conservation activities on the pandas were stopped. After the Chinese economic reform, the demand for panda skins from Hong Kong and Japan led to illegal poaching for the black market, acts generally ignored by the local officials at the time.
The giant panda is among the world’s most adored and protected rare animals, and is one of the few in the world whose natural inhabitant status was able to gain a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
Not all conservationists agree that the money spent on conserving pandas is well spent. Chris Packham has argued that the breeding of pandas in captivity is “pointless” because “there is not enough habitat left to sustain them”.
Well who are the culprits to destroy their habitats? Those culprits are responsible to restore them. Every Animal deserves a place on earth just as we do. We are the Culprits.
Be Responsible! Else Nature won’t mind demolished the homo sapiens over night.
– Voice of a Humane Soul
Courtesy & Source : Wikipedia, WWF and Image credits : Multiple Sources & Google
- Amazing Facts about Panda that Your Kids might not know (amazinganimalbooks.wordpress.com)
- Two for One: First Giant Panda Twins Born in U.S. Since 1987 (newsfeed.time.com)
- Endangered Species Campaign (classoffederico.wordpress.com)
- Bamboo – A Luxurious and Healthy Fiber (bellacor.com)
- Science, Pandas and Kung Fu (newunderthesunblog.wordpress.com)
- Endangered Animals – Panda (bernadethdella.wordpress.com)