Protecting the Giant Panda
The giant panda is everyone’s best friend. They are cute, cuddly and lots of fun. In China the word for panda is 大熊貓 (dà xióng māo), meaning “large bear cat", and they are famous around the world for eating bamboo and for their soft black and white fur. But recently they have been counted and there are only about 1600 left in the wild. So why are there so few remaining?
Pandas like to live in quiet bamboo forests away from humans. But their habitat (the bamboo forest) is also wanted by people to build roads and homes to live. Because of this their habitat is becoming smaller and there is less space for pandas to find food and shelter.
Pandas have now been named an endangered species, this means that there is a chance there could be no more left in the wild if we don’t look after them. But being an endangered species means they receive a lot of protection and many people are working to help them find the right habitat.
Many pandas now live in nature reserves where their habitat is protected. In a nature reserve people cannot build roads or houses or cut down the pandas bamboo forests. This gives them more space to move around and find food without coming into contact with humans.
These nature reserves are helping pandas to find enough food and shelter to live safely. Thanks to their creation, the number of pandas in the wild is slowly increasing and it is hoped they will continue to grow in number to reach a safe level again.
Did you know?
The panda makes its home in bamboo forests in southwest China.
Pandas love bamboo. They will eat for half the day and 99% of their diet is made up of bamboo.
Pandas are an endangered species. This means they are on a list of animals that need to be protected.
There are now only about 1600 pandas left in the wild.
Do you think it is important to protect the giant panda?
BBC News Viewpoints: Should we give up trying to save the panda?
World Wildlife Fund: Giant Panda Overview
World Wildlife Fund: Adopt an Endangered Panda:
National Geographic: Giant Panda