Giant pandas are a rare species of panda. They are native to the 6 separate mountain ranges in Western China. Giant pandas are famous for their love of bamboo and eat about up to 38kg of the green stuff a day!
THREATS TO PANDAS
The biggest threat to giant pandas is us humans by cutting down trees and cutting bamboo which is their main diet they have and love. Pandas are also threatened by habitat loss, humans hunting animals and harvesting plants in the forests.
Baby pandas are 1/900th of the size of their mothers. They are born hairless, blind and pink so don’t be scared if you see a baby panda pink and hairless. The mating season is in spring between March and May. A female can mate with several males, who compete for her. Pandas normally give birth to single cubs.
WHY SAVE THE PANDA?
We should do everything we can to save the giant panda because we are the ones that have driven them to the edge of extinction. Pandas through their eating habits spread seeds helping the vegetation to grow and keep the forest and jungles healthy.
In 1936, American fashion designer Ruth Harkness captures and takes the baby panda Su-Lin to the United States, making the cub an instant ‘celebrity’ and evoking universal sympathy for the plight of the species and creating the ‘panda cult’.
So what is happening right now with these loveable creatures? Have man-kinds recent efforts had any effect?
Dr Ronald Swaisgood, chair of the IUCN’s Giant Panda expert team, told The Independent Newspaper in an email: “The current situation is that all the trends are positive. Panda numbers are increasing, occupied range is expanding, and available habitat is recovering fast.”
For more information visit http://www.wwf.org.uk/wildlife/giant-pandas
Maddie, Yr 5
Cottesmore Millfield Academy