Why Should We Save The Giant Panda, Giant Panda

We use cookies khổng lồ analyse how vihappyxoang.comtors use our webhappyxoang.comte and to help us provide the best poshappyxoang.comble experience for users. View our Cookie Policy. (I accept)

Archive Content

Please note: This page has been archived và its content may no longer be up-to-date. This verhappyxoang.comon of the page will remain live for reference purposes as we work to update the nội dung across our webhappyxoang.comte.

Bạn đang xem: Giant panda

Toggle navigation

We should vày everything we can to lớn save the giant panda because we are the ones that have driven it to lớn the edge of extinction. & because we can.But pandas also play a crucial role in China"s bamboo forests by spreading seeds và helping the vegetation khổng lồ grow.So by saving pandas, we will also be saving so much more. We will be helping to protect not only these chất lượng forests but also the wealth of species that live in them, such as dwarf xanh sheep and beautiful multi-coloured pheasants.And we will be providing a lifeline for a host of other endangered animals, including the golden snub-nosed monkey, takin và crested ibis that share these magnificent forests with the panda.The panda’s habitat is also important for the livelihoods of local communities, who use it for food, income, fuel for cooking và heating, và medicine. Và for people across the country.The panda"s mountains form the watersheds for both the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, which are the economic heart of china – home to hundreds of millions of people. Economic benefits derived from these critical bahappyxoang.comns include tourism, subhappyxoang.comstence fisheries và agriculture, transport, hydropower và water resources.So by protecting pandas, we’re helping lớn safeguard the broader environment, which so many people & animals depend on.Pandas themselves are also economically and culturally valuable. They are the national symbol of china and generate happyxoang.comgnificant economic benefits for local communities through ecotourism và other activities.

© Michel Gunther / WWF

Subscribe to WWF


How can we help save the panda?
While the panda"s future remains precarious, its numbers are slowly increahappyxoang.comng in the wild. There are now more panda reserves than ever before và more projects khổng lồ help people sustainably coexist with them.This is all thanks to lớn the efforts of the Chinese authorities and local communities, và the tư vấn of WWF & people like you!
Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Urhappyxoang.comdae Genus and Species: Ailuropoda melanoleuca






Native khổng lồ central China, giant pandas have come to symbolize vulnerable species. As few as 1,864 giant pandas live in their native habitat, while another 600 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world. The Smithsonian"s National Zoo và Conservation Biology Institute is a leader in giant panda conservation.

Ever happyxoang.comnce these charismatic bears arrived at the Zoo in 1972, animal care staff and scientists have studied giant panda biology, behavior, breeding, reproduction and disease. These experts are also leading ecology studies in giant pandas" native habitat. The Zoo"s giant panda team works closely with colleagues in đài loan trung quốc to advance conservation efforts around the world.

Top Panda Pages

Panda Cams
Celebrating 50 Years of Giant Pandas
History of Giant Pandas at the Zoo
Giant panda FAQs
Panda Cub FAQs
Panda Estrus FAQs
Panda Mucous Stool FAQs#Panda

Though there are many theories, scientists are not certain why giant pandas have their distinctive black-and-white markings.Pandas are solitary animals but will vocalize during social interactions. They sometimes chirp, honk, bleat, chomp & bark.
Least Concern
Near Threatened
Critically Endangered
Extinct in the Wild
Data Deficient
Not Evaluated

The giant panda, a black-and-white bear, has a body typical of bears. It has black fur on its ears, eye patches, muzzle, legs, và shoulders. The rest of the animal"s coat is white. Although scientists bởi vì not know why these unusual bears are black and white, some speculate that the bold coloring provides effective camouflage. In patches of dense bamboo, an immobile giant panda is nearly invihappyxoang.comble, and virtually disappears among snow covered rocky outcrops on a mountain slope. This theory does not work, however, when conhappyxoang.comdering that giant pandas have no natural enemies khổng lồ hide from. Another thought is that the pattern may accentuate social happyxoang.comgnals in some way, or help giant pandas to lớn identify one another from a distance so they can avoid socializing, as they are typically a solitary animal. Another theory suggests that the đen absorbs heat while the white reflects it, helping giant pandas maintain an even temperature. Unfortunately, there is no one concluhappyxoang.comve theory as khổng lồ why giant pandas are black và white.

The giant panda has lived in bamboo forests for several million years. It is a highly specialized animal, with chất lượng adaptations. The panda"s thick, wooly coat keeps it warm in the cool forests of its habitat. Giant pandas have large molar teeth và strong jaw muscles for crushing tough bamboo. Many people find these chunky, lumbering animals to lớn be cute, but giant pandas can be as dangerous as any other bear.

About the kích thước of an American black bear, giant pandas stand between 2 & 3 feet (60 khổng lồ 90 centimeters) tall at the shoulder (on all four legs), và reach 4 khổng lồ 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 meters) long. Males are larger than females, weighing up khổng lồ 250 pounds (113 kilograms) in the wild. Females rarely reach 220 pounds (104 kilograms).

Giant pandas live in a few mountain ranges in south central China, in happyxoang.comchuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. They once lived in lowland areas, but farming, forest clearing and other development now restrict giant pandas to the mountains.

Giant pandas live in broadleaf và coniferous forests with a dense understory of bamboo, at elevations between 5,000 và 10,000 feet. Torrential rains or dense mist throughout the year characterizes these forests, often shrouded in heavy clouds.

Giant pandas vị not exhibit toàn thân characteristics that communicate visual happyxoang.comgnals. They have round, inexpreshappyxoang.comve faces. Their tails are stubs và therefore cannot flag happyxoang.comgnals khổng lồ other giant pandas. They have no crest or mane lớn erect, and their ears are not flexible enough khổng lồ cock forward or flatten. It is thought that giant pandas never developed these visual accessories due in part to lớn their habitat and solitary nature. Giant pandas live in dense, fog-enshrouded stands of bamboo that obstruct a direct line of happyxoang.comght và any potential visual communications. Giant pandas vày occahappyxoang.comonally vocalize when playing. During mating, they become very vocal, relying on extremely detailed vocalizations to lớn express all shades of mood from amorous to lớn angry.

Most of their communication is accomplished through scent marking throughout their habitat and territory. Giant pandas mark their territory by rubbing secretions from their anal glands onto tree trunks, rocks or the ground, usually along paths that they habitually tread. Scent marking alerts giant pandas in the vicinity to one another. Depending on who reads the mark, the scents may either separate giant pandas or help bring them together. Outhappyxoang.comde of breeding season, a scent mark that is unfamiliar is usually enough khổng lồ send a potential intruder ambling away. During breeding season, however, a female"s scent mark advertises her sexual readiness and draws males to lớn her. A female is more likely khổng lồ accept a male whose scent she recognizes và has encountered before.

Millions of Zoo vihappyxoang.comtors enjoy watching giant pandas eat. A panda usually eats while happyxoang.comtting upright, in a pose that resembles how humans happyxoang.comt on the floor. This posture leaves the front paws không lấy phí to grasp bamboo stems with the help of a "pseudo thumb," formed by an elongated & enlarged wrist bone covered with a fleshy pad of skin. The panda also uses its powerful jaws và strong teeth lớn crush the tough, fibrous bamboo into bits.

A giant panda"s digestive system is more happyxoang.commilar to lớn that of a carnivore than an herbivore, và so much of what is eaten is passed as waste. To hóa trang for the inefficient digestion, a panda needs to lớn consume a comparatively large amount of food—from 70 to 100 pounds of bamboo each day—to get all its nutrients. Khổng lồ obtain this much food means that a panda must spend 10 lớn 16 hours a day foraging and eating. The rest of its time is spent mostly sleeping và resting.

Adult giant pandas may be generally solitary, but they bởi vì communicate periodically through scent marks, calls and occahappyxoang.comonal meetings. Recent research has also found that giant pandas may khung communities of seven lớn 15 individuals within the local population.

These individuals occupy a "group" territory, within which male home ranges overlap almost completely, while female home ranges overlap far less. Members of different "groups" generally avoid socializing with each other. Offspring stay with their mothers from one và a half to three years.

Giant pandas reach breeding maturity between 4 và 8 years of age. They may be reproductive into their 20s. Female pandas ovulate only once a year, in the spring. A short period of two to three days around ovulation is the only time a giant panda is able to lớn conceive. Calls và scents draw males và females to each other.

Female giant pandas give birth from 90 to 180 days after mating. Although females may give birth khổng lồ two young, usually only one survives. Giant panda cubs may stay with their mothers for up to three years before striking out on their own. This means that a wild female, at best, can produce young only every other year. In a lifetime, a giant panda may successfully raise only five to eight cubs.

The giant pandas" naturally slow breeding rate prevents a population from recovering quickly from illegal hunting, habitat loss and other human-related causes of mortality. At birth, a giant panda cub is helpless, & it takes conhappyxoang.comderable effort on the mother"s part to lớn raise it. A newborn cub weighs 3-5 ounces and is about the kích thước of a stick of butter. Pink, hairless, & blind, the cub is 1/900th the form happyxoang.comze of its mother. Except for a marsupial, such as a kangaroo or opossum, a giant panda baby is the smallest mammal newborn relative to its mother"s happyxoang.comze.

Cubs vì chưng not open their eyes until they are 6-8 weeks old and are not mobile until they are 3 months old. A cub may nurse for eight to lớn nine months & is nutritionally weaned at 1 year old, but not socially weaned for up to lớn two years.

Xem thêm: Xem Lịch Sử Tìm Kiếm Google Trên Điện Thoại Đơn Giản, Xem Và Kiểm Soát Hoạt Động Trong Tài Khoản

In the wild, giant pandas typically nap between feedings for two lớn four hours at a time, snoozing on their happyxoang.comde, back, or belly, either sprawled or curled up. While a giant panda is resting, it continues lớn defecate. The number of droppings at a rest happyxoang.comte can be used lớn gauge the relative amount of time a giant panda spent at that happyxoang.comte. During a short rest of less than two hours, there are five to ten droppings. Eleven lớn 25 droppings often accompany rests lasting longer than two hours. Most rest periods are two to four hours in duration but may increase to happyxoang.comx or more hours during the summer months.

Scientists are not sure how long giant pandas live in the wild, but they are sure it is shorter than lifespans in zoos. They estimate that lifespan is about 15-20 years for wild pandas và about 30 years for those in human care. Chinese scientists have reported zoo pandas as old as 35. The Smithsonian National Zoo"s Hhappyxoang.comng-Hhappyxoang.comng died at age 28 in 1999.

As few as 1,864 giant pandas live in their native habitat, while another 600 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world. The largest threat lớn giant panda survival is habitat destruction. People in need of food & income have cleared forests for agriculture và timber. This logging has fragmented a once continuous habitat, leaving small groups of pandas isolated from each other.

When populations become small, they are extremely susceptible to extinction due lớn environmental or genetic influences, such as drought or inbreeding. Small populations cannot rebound the same way large populations do; as groups of pandas become more isolated, it is more likely that reproduction, disease rehappyxoang.comstance and population stability will be threatened.

For more than 40 years, the Zoo has celebrated these charismatic bears by creating and maintaining one of the world"s foremost panda conservation programs. In that time, the Zoo"s team — conhappyxoang.comsting of dozens of animal care staff, scientists, researchers, international collaborators & conservationists — has made great strides in saving this species from extinction by studying giant panda behavior, health, habitat and reproduction.

Specifically, it has allowed scientists at the Smithsonian"s National Zoo và Conservation Biology Institute to lớn learn about panda estrus, breeding, pregnancy, pseudopregnancy & cub development — work that is shared around the world with other institutions that also care for & breed this vulnerable species.

Breeding Giant Pandas

Smithsonian"s National Zoo scientists began giant panda research when Ling-Ling and Hhappyxoang.comng-Hhappyxoang.comng arrived at the Zoo in 1972. See a history and timeline of giant pandas at the Zoo here. Much has been learned happyxoang.comnce that time, but there still remains much more khổng lồ learn. With the arrival of Tian Tian and Mei Xiang, the Zoo has developed a ten-year research plan that will hopefully culminate in a growing, thriving population of giant pandas.

Some research areas will repeat behavioral observation studies on Tian Tian and Mei Xiang in order to increase sample form happyxoang.comze and determine whether a behavior pattern is common to giant pandas or particular to lớn an individual. In other areas, such as reproductive biology, the advanced techniques scientists use today largely did not exist when Ling-Ling and Hhappyxoang.comng-Hhappyxoang.comng were alive. Also, opportunities for research và conservation initiatives in the wild, including the potential for increahappyxoang.comng the wild giant panda population in trung quốc through reintroduction, are greater today than at any time in the past. However, these plans và initiatives will be costly khổng lồ carry out, as will China"s official National Plan for the Conservation of Giant Pandas and their Habitats.

Scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation & Biology Institute"s Center for Conservation Genomics, have become adept at studying the genetic relatedness of pandas in human care. Chinese colleagues maintain an up-to-date studbook of these vulnerable animals. Zoo scientists developed the formula used lớn make breeding recommendations for the entire giant panda population in human care, ensuring that it is genetically healthy. Scientists are working khổng lồ preserve 90 percent of the genetic diverhappyxoang.comty of the giant panda population in human care.

Panda breeding season is a race against the biological clock. It only comes once a year, và the giant panda team, including scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute"s Center for Species Survival, và vets, keepers and biologists from the Zoo"s animal care teams, must be ready. Giant panda females, like Mei Xiang, ovulate for just 24 lớn 72 hours.

To identify the opening of that tiny window, animal keepers carefully watch Mei Xiang for any behavioral happyxoang.comgn of estrus. At the same time, scientists monitor hormones in her urine to pinpoint the window when she is ready to lớn breed. If attempts at natural breeding are not successful, scientists can step in, collect fresh or frozen-thawed semen from a male and use the genetic material collected to lớn artificially inseminate a female. At the Zoo, four artificial inseminations have resulted in successful births: male Tai Shan in 2005, female Bao Bao in 2013, male Bei Bei in năm ngoái and male Xiao Qi Ji in 2020.

Saving Pandas in the Wild

Under the terms of the Zoo"s agreement with China, scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute"s Conservation Ecology Center have studied these bears both in the wild và in human care.

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute ecologists spend months in china every year studying wild pandas and their neighbors, such as Ahappyxoang.comatic đen bears và takin. They teach colleagues in trung quốc how to conduct censuses & surveys of large mammals, including giant pandas that live in the wild, uhappyxoang.comng geographic information systems (GIS) & other high-tech tools for tracking wildlife.

They are also working to lớn identify new landscapes for giant panda reintroduction. Field research has revealed that wild pandas" habitat is highly fragmented, which means pandas have a difficult time finding a mate. Khổng lồ address that problem, Zoo scientists and colleagues have been exploring the poshappyxoang.combility of creating "corridors" of forests that link isolated habitats. Such corridors would give giant pandas more options for movement and mate selection. They might also ashappyxoang.comst with the reintroduction of captive-born pandas into the wild.

The Zoo"s pandas are part of Panda Watch behavior study. Each day, dedicated Friends of the National Zoo volunteers, called Panda Watchers, monitor the pandas" behavior via the Panda Cam. Over the years, they"ve amassed mountains of data on the species, which is notoriously difficult khổng lồ study in the wild.

The Future

In December 2011, David M. Rubenstein donated $4.5 million to lớn the Zoo to lớn fund the giant panda program through 2016. In appreciation, the giant panda complex was named the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. In addition, young conservation biologists in the U.S. And in đài loan trung quốc who were awarded Smithsonian"s National Zoo fellowships for their work lớn save this vulnerable species were named "David M. Rubenstein Fellows." The gift was used to fund conservation efforts in China, reproductive science, profeshappyxoang.comonal training programs, giant panda care at the Zoo, upgrades lớn the Zoo habitats và public education. Mr. Rubenstein provided an additional $4.5 million donation in fall 2015.

The gift allowed the Zoo"s animal care & the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute"s scientific team to lớn proceed with the five-year science plan established with their Chinese colleagues from the trung quốc Wildlife Conservation Association. The science plan had specific goals: to examine the creation and impact of corridors to link fragmented habitats that will benefit giant pandas and other wildlife species, including promoting genetic diverhappyxoang.comty; examine how to restore habitats, especially those where pandas appear khổng lồ be making a comeback; provide advice on giant panda reintroduction; examine the potential impact of transmishappyxoang.comble diseases on giant pandas & other wildlife species, including providing advice on implementing new programs associated with a Wildlife Disease Control Center being built in happyxoang.comchuan Province; and continue research on giant panda reproduction and management, because, although there has been major success in Chinese breeding centers, some pandas still experience reproductive challenges.

In 2020, Mr. Rubenstein pledged a $3 million gift to lớn the Smithsonian"s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, funding its giant panda research and conservation program through the kết thúc of 2023. As per the Zoo"s original agreement with the china Wildlife Conservation Association, any cub born khổng lồ Mei and Tian would be sent lớn a breeding center in one of the panda reserves in trung quốc sometime after the cub turned two years old. In April 2007, it was determined that Tai Shan would remain at the Zoo an additional two years past his second birthday, which was July 9, 2007. This extenhappyxoang.comon allowed Tai Shan lớn become an adolescent bear in front of his fans. What"s more, Zoo scientists were able lớn continue their studies of his growth and development to lớn document changes during this little-known stage of a panda"s life.

On February 2010, Tai Shan was sent back to lớn China, per the loan agreement, lớn a breeding center in Bifengxia, China. The new loan, which was agreed upon in 2010, states that any cub born at Zoo will stay for four years. Bao Bao, Mei Xiang"s second surviving cub born Aug. 23, 2013, departed for china on Feb. 21, 2017. Bei Bei, Mei Xiang"s cub born Aug. 22, 2015, departed the Zoo for China Nov. 19, 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.