Q:

What is being done to save the giant panda?

A:

Three major steps have been taken to protect giant pandas, including putting them on the endangered species list, protecting their natural habitat and starting cooperative international captive-breeding programs. China expanded its conservation efforts greatly in the 1990s. Since then, its panda reserves have grown from just 14 to more than 40.

Although deforestation and poaching are the main reasons why giant pandas are endangered, other factors have contributed to the decline. For example, the diet of the giant panda is almost entirely made up of bamboo. Despite adaptations, however, the pandas' digestive systems are still set up for the animals to be carnivores. As a result, giant pandas cannot digest cellulose, which is one of the primary components of bamboo. Due to their inability to digest cellulose, giant pandas are known to have a wide variety of digestive disorders.

Giant pandas are generally very easy to raise in captivity. This is because they are usually friendly toward humans, and this is especially true for humans who regularly give them food and water. Giant pandas even share their space with other pandas because they are tolerant and not very territorial. Despite the ease of raising giant pandas in captivity, they still have relatively low birth rates.


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