PANDAS

The reason why pandas were endangered is unknown to many. In this lesson, Dynamic Earth Learning will help you learn more about pandas.

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Now, let’s learn more about pandas.

There are four types of pandas:

  1. Giant Panda
  2. Two types of Red Panda
  3. Qinling Panda

GIANT PANDA

First, thanks to the hard work of many people, giant pandas are no longer endangered. In 2020, the International Union for Conservation of Nature stated that giant pandas are no longer “endangered.” Instead they are now listed as “vulnerable.” Recent counts show there are now more than 1,800 giant pandas in the wild! China says giant pandas are no longer an endangered species. This is due to successful breeding programs.

RED PANDA

Red pandas are endangered. (Dynamic Earth Learning’s Post: Why Extinction is Bad?) Also, they are legally protected in India, Bhutan, China, Nepal and Myanmar. Researchers think the total number of red pandas went down by 40 percent over the past twenty years. Overall there are as many as 10,000 and as few as 2,500 red pandas still in the wild.

QINLING PANDA

The Qinling panda (Brown Panda) is endangered. In fact, there are only around 100 Qinling pandas still living in the wild. The Qinling is a relative of the giant panda, discovered in the 1960s. It’s different from the giant panda. It has a smaller skull, has dark brown or light brown fur, and is smaller. Brown pandas are very rare. Also, this panda type lives only high up in the Qinling or Qin Mountains in China.

WHY ARE PANDAS ENDANGERED FACTS

Here are some important facts about why pandas used to be endangered.

Habitat Loss

Pandas have less and less land to live on. They also struggle to find food, as there is less land. Also, it’s important to know that pandas like to be alone. They don’t spend much time with each other. Overall, the loss of land pushes these quiet animals closer together.

Loss of Food

About 98% of a panda’s diet is bamboo. Finding enough bamboo is difficult for many reasons. Some reasons include cutting down forests, humans building homes, farm animals grazing (Dynamic Earth Learning’s Post: Meat and The Environment) and logging.

Natural Disasters

Things like landslides, floods, tornadoes,heavy snow and rainfall destroy habitats. A habitat is where an animal lives. Also, forest fires, invasive plant species, and problems with bamboo flowering hurt a panda’s habitat.

Deforestation (Loss of Woods)

When people move into a panda’s area, they clear forests for homes. Also, people make stores and other buildings. Next, farmers clear land for animal grazing. Even miners need to clear land for mining.

Hunting And Poaching

Illegal poaching and smuggling is increasing. Basically, hunters like the red pandas for their special fur and meat. Sometimes hunters find red pandas and sell them as pets.

Hard Time Having Babies

Pandas have a hard time having babies. Basically, pandas have only one to three cubs at a time. Then only one cub will live to be an adult. Sadly, bamboo has low nutrients. So, it’s hard for a panda to have enough food while it’s pregnant. Also, pandas are picky about who they’ll mate with. So, zoos that try to breed pandas can’t always help. This is because the two pandas they find need to like each other. If the pandas don’t like each other they will fight instead of making more panda babies. This is unlike other animal species which are much less picky.

DO YOU WANT TO HELP PANDAS?

The Red Panda Network is a nonprofit organization that protects red pandas and their habitat. They work with local community groups to make special wildlife areas. Also, they have “forest guardians” to help teach about red pandas. Finally, the group watches panda numbers in the wild to make sure they aren’t disappearing. You can help this group by donating and working against the red panda trade.

Interested in helping other wildlife? Check out Dynamic Earth Learnings post “Why Save Bees?

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