The panda's natural habitat is in the mountains of western China. While never large, the giant panda's natural habitat has grown smaller with time.
Although giant pandas can be seen in zoos across the world, the National Zoological Park indicates that currently, they naturally only appear in mountainous forested lands in China's Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Gansu provinces. Their habitat is not a continuous stretch of land but is comprised of separate patches where they are able to survive. Because giant pandas eat nothing but bamboo, they must have access to this plant in the wild; they need to consume 20 to 45 pounds of bamboo shoots a day to absorb enough nutrients. As bamboo forests are cleared, the panda's habitat disappears. China is engaging in conservation efforts to ensure the species' survival.
The panda's natural habitat has shrunk dramatically over time, but they were never especially prevalent on a grand scale. These are special animals that have always existed in a limited region and are now considered a highly endangered species. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, pandas once lived as far south as Myanmar and Vietnam. These animals have very specific needs, and they have largely been unable to adapt to the rapid changes around them as bamboo forests are cleared to make room for human development.