Giant Panda   BEAR
Giant Panda
Giant Panda
Scientific Name:
Ailuropoda melanoleuca
Group:
Mammals
Status/Date Listed as Endangered:
EN-IUCN: 2008
EN-US FWS: January 23, 1984
Area(s) Where Listed As Endangered:
China
 
 

The giant panda is an extremely rare animal found mainly in the Western Szechwan province of southwest China. The giant panda can weigh from 165 to 330 lb. The head and body of the panda is mainly white with the exception of its ears, eye patches, nose, shoulders, arms, and legs. The giant pandas eyes are very small and its vision is poor. Enlarged bones in its wrists allow it to grip bamboo stems. They have very strong jaws and large molar teeth that are used to crush the tough bamboo stems. Pandas are very good climbers and use their skill to escape predators. They are also able to move quickly and silently allowing them to evade predators through tunnels of bamboo.

Giant pandas eat mostly bamboo leaves and shoots. But they can also eat fruit and berries, fungi, grass, and even small mammals, birds and fish. Pandas live alone most of their lives, only coming together when it is time to mate. Females give birth to cubs that are hairless and blind and weigh only 100g. Cubs depend on their mothers for about 18 months, and then it is time to find and establish its own territory. They use their scent glands beneath their tails for marking territory.

The giant panda is only found in central and western China, and only 1000 to 2000 remain in the wild. Causes of their decline include destruction of habitat and poaching. And the panda is heavily dependent upon its main food source, bamboo, which is becoming rare in its habitat. In an effort to save this species, the World Wildlife Fund and the Chinese Ministry of Forestry have developed a conservation management plan outlining 14 new panda reserves and five corridors connecting patches of panda habitat. This species is also legally protected to prevent poaching.




Wikipedia Article

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Wikipedia Article
Copyright Notice: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Giant panda".
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Conservation Links:
World Wildlife Fund




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