Giant pandas are native to south-central China. An endangered species, they are now found in the central Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu. They share part of their habitat with the much smaller, raccoon-like "red" pandas, which are also found in parts of the Himalayas and northern Myanmar.
As of 2014, there are an estimated 2,000 giant pandas remaining in the wild and another 200 or so in captivity at zoos across China and around the world. The pandas live mainly in thick coniferous and bamboo forests at elevations from 8,500 to 11,500 feet. Unlike other bears, these solitary animals do not hibernate, and instead migrate to lower elevations to keep warm in colder months.Learn More
In the past, giant pandas were killed for use in medicine, but hunting these gentle animals is now banned in China. While the ban has led to a decline in poaching, poachers still occasionally kill giant pandas for their fur. As of 2014, 1,000 to 1,600 giant pandas remain in the wild and in captivity.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Pandas drink water. Wild pandas can get much of the water they need by eating bamboo but usually need more fresh water than bamboo alone can provide.Full Answer >
Although they are considered to be carnivores, giant pandas mainly eat bamboo plants. They also sometimes eat rodents, green corn, honey, grasses, flowers and vines.Full Answer >