How Many Big Pandas Are Left within the World?


Their numbers are dwindling, and these real-life teddy bears want our assist.

What’s black and white and never throughout? The reply, sadly, is the enormous panda. Whereas conservation efforts are underway, these cuddly creatures are going through critical issues within the wild. In honor of Nationwide Panda Day on March sixteenth, let’s check out the threats to those light giants, in addition to be taught some fascinating info about them. Bonus: Lovable pics forward!

The panda’s plight

Primarily due to habitat loss, there aren’t many big pandas left on this planet. That’s a typical drawback with many wild animal species you in all probability by no means realized had been endangered. Different causes the panda inhabitants is threatened: Unlawful poaching for the black market stays an issue, pandas usually have troublesome pregnancies, and mom pandas solely have sufficient milk to feed one cub, although two or three cubs are sometimes born without delay. Plus, pandas are actually choosy in selecting a mate.

So, how dire is the scenario? The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says there are simply 1,864 pandas left within the wild. There are a further 400 pandas in captivity, based on Pandas Worldwide. The Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the enormous panda as “susceptible,” which is the class between “close to threatened” and “endangered.” Nevertheless, there’s some excellent news: The inhabitants has began to extend barely, because of breeding packages in China.

Their house turf

All present pandas come from the bamboo forests of central China, so it’s applicable to greet them with nǐ hǎo (pronounced “nee haow”), which is the way you say “hi there” in Mandarin. Pandas additionally used to stay in Laos, Myanmar/Burma, and Vietnam, based on

Big pandas have their very own language

Hung_Chung_Chih/Getty PhotosPandas received’t say “hi there” again, in fact, however scientists say they’ve extra different vocalizations than some other sort of bear. The San Diego Zoo reviews that pandas growl, huff, squeak, bark, honk, coo, tweet, and even bleat like lambs.

Pandas Worldwide describes a linguistics venture by the China Conservation and Analysis Heart for the Big Panda. Researchers have discovered the which means behind 13 totally different panda noises. They are saying {that a} mom panda will bark when a stranger approaches her cub and that male pandas baa like sheep after they’re in love. Supposedly, when a child panda makes a “gee-gee” sound, it means “I’m hungry,” and “wow-wow” means the panda isn’t completely happy.

The right panda picnic

Big pandas look so much like teddy bears, particularly after they sit down and stretch out their hind legs, a posture Nationwide Geographic says they like to make use of when consuming. Talking of which, a panda’s favourite meal is bamboo. In truth, these light giants not often eat the rest and spend half of on daily basis consuming the fibrous stuff. Nevertheless, bamboo isn’t essentially the most nutritious of meals, particularly for large animals like pandas. Bamboo may be very low in protein, and the IUCN says pandas can digest lower than 30 % of it. An enormous panda must eat between 25 and 40 kilos of bamboo day by day, in addition to have a sedentary way of life, to remain alive and wholesome. Listed here are extra panda info that may make you like them much more.

Be glad you’re not a panda

Certain, it’d seem to be a pleasant life simply to sit down round all day and snack in your favourite meals. However know that for those who had been a large panda, you’d must get off your sofa and go to the toilet so much. In keeping with the IUCN, a panda poops at the least 100 instances a day. Plus, when the bamboo of their territory is gone, pandas should migrate to seek for extra.

Depart me alone!


Pascale Gueret/Getty PhotosPandas typically prefer to be by themselves. They do get collectively to mate within the spring and a mom will increase her cub till it’s 18 to 24 months previous, however in any other case, pandas choose to be alone with their bamboo. Curiously sufficient, research present that pandas “discuss” after they do get collectively.

Right here’s what we do know: Pandas depend on their wonderful sense of scent to assist keep away from each other, says Nationwide Geographic. In addition they use scent to discover a mate after they’re able to have a break from all of that alone time.

Why do pandas do handstands?

Whereas pandas typically choose to sit down round by themselves and eat, they will typically be seen doing acrobatics. Pandas mark their territories to inform different pandas who they’re and to remain away. Their scent gland is beneath their tails, they usually rub this space on timber. So as to get the mark as excessive as doable on a tree (exhibiting that they’re an awesome massive panda that different pandas ought to keep away from), pandas will do a handstand. Plus, provides, pandas like to hold in timber and do somersaults after they play.

Are they bears, or aren’t they?

Earlier than scientists had been in a position to check panda DNA, they thought that enormous pandas is perhaps a part of the raccoon household, one other animal that has black markings round its eyes. However it’s now confirmed that the panda is a part of the bear household. That’s not like the koala bear, which isn’t a bear in any respect. It’s, nonetheless, one in every of these 11 animals with surprisingly deceptive names.

Pandas are totally different from bears in some ways. They don’t retailer fats and hibernate like their North American bear cousins. They’ve an extra-long wrist bone that acts like a thumb to make it simpler to carry onto bamboo. And technically, the enormous panda is assessed as a carnivore. Though they largely eat bamboo, they may even often eat fish, rats, and different small animals.

And right here’s one other enjoyable animal comparability: In Mandarin, the title of the enormous panda interprets as “big bear cat,” maybe due to their cat-like vertical pupils or perhaps as a result of they prefer to lie round all day like cats.

The dimensions of a stick of butter

baby newborn giant panda

John Moore/Getty PhotosBig pandas are actually big when totally grown—males weigh about 300 kilos. However the WWF reviews that panda newborns are 1/900th the dimensions of their mamas. They weigh 4 to 6 ounces at start, roughly the identical measurement and weight as a stick of butter in your fridge. Once they’re born, child big pandas are tiny, pale, and hairless. They solely get their distinctive black and white fur after they’re a couple of month previous. Listed here are some cute footage of child animals you’ll love immediately.

Dwelling fossils

Pandas Worldwide calls big pandas “dwelling fossils” as a result of the species is believed to have existed for 3 million years. So as to stop pandas from going extinct, we have to shield the animals and their habitat, in addition to assist them reproduce in panda breeding facilities. A lot of the world’s wildlife is in danger and in want of safety—for instance, are you aware what number of cheetahs are left on this planet?

The way to assist big pandas

Donating to animal conservation organizations just like the WWF is a good way to assist pandas and to forestall their populations from shrinking. With the WWF, you may even undertake a panda. Pandas are significantly essential to the WWF—the group has used the panda as its emblem because it was based in 1961.

One other easy means you may assist? By visiting a panda in a zoo. China leases pandas to zoos all over the world and makes use of the funds to protect pandas within the wild. In China, you may see new child, child, and grownup pandas at panda facilities such because the Chengdu Analysis Base of Big Panda Breeding. In the USA, you may see big pandas on the Memphis Zoo, on the Atlanta Fulton County Zoo, on the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute in Washington D.C., and, in Canada, on the Calgary Zoo.

Subsequent, take a look at the opposite unimaginable animals that got here again from the brink of extinction.


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