Q:

Where do pandas live?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Where do pandas live?
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Full Answer

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.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many pandas live in the wild today?

    A:

    According to Smithsonian National Zoological Park, there are roughly 1,600 giant pandas and fewer than 10,000 red pandas remaining in the wild. There are an additional 300 giant pandas at breeding centers and zoos around the world.

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  • Q:

    Why are pandas important?

    A:

    To save the panda from extinction, the rich biodiversity such as plants, landscapes and other animals that surround the pandas must also be preserved, as it is necessary for their survival. The removal of any species has dramatic consequences for those that remain. Pandas also economically benefit their local communities.

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  • Q:

    Can pandas swim?

    A:

    According to the World Wildlife Fund, pandas have several natural survival skills, including the ability to swim. Pandas are typically peaceful and solitary creatures; if attacked, they generally try to escape. However, if they cannot escape, they defend themselves.

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  • Q:

    Why are pandas endangered?

    A:

    The primary threat giant pandas face today is habitat loss. Bamboo is the main element of their diet, and bamboo forests are becoming increasingly fragmented and limited. Over-hunting in the past and a low reproductive rate also contribute to their endangered status.

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