They might be huge and heavy but they are tolerant if they’re not being territorial. They are normally calm and will not annoy other animals or people if they are not bothering them. Giant pandas have a striking black and white coat with black fur around their eyes, mouth, legs, and shoulders. Their thick, woolly coat keeps them warm in their chilly alpine habitats. Adult pandas are around 150cm from snout to rump, with a 10-15cm tail. Because of their fluffy fur and calm nature, they are not feared like bears. Most kids would even say they’re cute!
However, the most unfortunate thing happened. The IUCN declared giant pandas endangered in 1990 when the panda population was only 1,114. One of the primary causes of panda population reduction is habitat destruction. As China’s human population grows, construction encroaches on pandas’ habitat, forcing them to live in smaller and less habitable places. Food scarcity is also a result of habitat loss. According to National Geographic, they are also “poached for their pelts, smuggled out of the country as cubs to the U.S. and Japan, and speculated on like a tradeable stock by zoo collectors.”
Giant Panda National Park
Since 2016, a lot has been accomplished. China has established a new Giant Panda National Park, which encompasses 70% of the animals’ current habitat, primarily in Sichuan Province. In addition, the number of pandas in captive-breeding programs worldwide has nearly doubled, to 633. That is more than twice as many pandas as experts believe are required to sustain genetic variety, which is critical to the species’ survival.
Efforts Were Made
The Chinese government has established 13 panda nature reserve zones to safeguard the giant panda’s habitat. Farming fields in the regions have been let to regenerate as woodland. Trees and bamboo have flourished, and the ecosystem is regenerating. Farming practices in the vicinity of the woods have also been curtailed or segregated from the reserve areas.
Bamboo Forests And Corridors
How did the panda bear recover from extinction? According to experts, the achievement is attributed primarily to Chinese efforts to restore and repopulate bamboo forests. Bamboo accounts for almost 99 percent of their nutrition; without it, they are likely to starve. Zoos have also sought to boost their populations through captive breeding. In collaboration with WWF, the Chinese government has also created bamboo corridors to connect pockets of forest, allowing pandas to roam to new regions, find more food, and meet more prospective breeding mates.
No Longer Endangered
Chinese conservation officials have announced that they no longer consider giant pandas in China an endangered species. Their status has been updated to vulnerable. There are now 1,800 giant pandas living in the wild, a number that officials credit to the country’s devotion to maintaining nature reserves and other conservation initiatives in recent years. As a result, other species have also flourished: Siberian tigers, Asian elephants, and crested ibises have all seen a gradual increase in population numbers.
According to Chinese officials, giant pandas are no longer listed as endangered, but they are still vulnerable. The categorization was changed because their population in the wild has dwindled to 1,800 individuals. According to experts, the country was able to conserve its famous mammal through long-term conservation initiatives, such as habitat extension. Pandas are considered a national treasure in China, yet they have also been donated to other countries as diplomatic instruments.
Pandas are generally solitary creatures. They’re great tree climbers, although they spend the majority of their time eating. They can consume for 14 hours every day, mostly bamboo, which accounts for 99 percent of their diet (though they sometimes eat eggs or small animals too).
Giant pandas are highlighting the fact that restoration may be effective. Even more, by saving pandas, we are also helping to conserve the larger habitat in which they inhabit, for all the species and people who rely on it.