Where do pandas live?
Some facts about the life of the giant panda bearWhere do pandas live? Pandas are native to the temperate-zone bamboo forests of central China. They once lived in lowland areas, but farming, forest clearing, and other development have pushed them into the mountains of southwestern China, mostly in the Sichuan Province. This is due to the fact that Chinaís human population has been steadily growing and is now the largest in the world. Pandas are beloved everywhere and their images often appear on many gift and novelty items.
The importance of bamboo to the giant panda
Where do pandas live always involves a forest sodden with torrential rains, dense mists, and heavy cloud cover. The giant panda has lived in bamboo forests for several million years and is a highly specialized animal, with unique adaptations and specifications. Bamboo comprises 99 % of its diet. Other foods consist of grasses and occasional small rodents or musk deer fawns. In zoos, giant pandas eat bamboo, sugar cane, rice gruel, a special high-fiber biscuit, carrots, apples, and sweet potatoes.
Bamboo is the giant panda's favorite food and adults will spend 10 to 16 hours a day finding and eating it. They eat different parts of the plant depending on the time of year. In the summer and autumn, pandas munch mostly on leaves and winter means a season of stems. Spring is the time for tender, young bamboo shoots.
A giant pandaís digestive system is more similar to that of a carnivore than an herbivore. Because bamboo is not a source of nutrition, a panda needs to eat a as much as 20 kg of bamboo each day to get all the necessary nutrients.
The giant panda is currently one of the most critically endangered species in the world. Only about 1,000 of them remain in the wild. About 140 live in zoos and breeding centers around the world, but mostly China. Their black and white essence has come to symbolize endangered species everywhere and international conservation efforts.
About the size of an American black bear and just as dangerous, giant pandas stand between two and three feet tall at the shoulder (on all four legs), and reach four to six feet long. Males are larger than females, weighing up to 250 pounds in the wild. Females rarely reach 220 pounds.
What factors determine where pandas live?
The answer to the question of where do pandas live depends largely on habitat. People and giant pandas have been living together in China for thousands of years, but the nationís growing population translates in the need for more land for farming and more forests for wood to build and heat houses. Pandas live at elevations between 5,000 and 10,000 feet in broadleaf and coniferous forests with a dense supply of bamboo, their dietary staple.
Where do pandas live involves an understanding of the damage done to their natural habitat by industrialization and development. These factors have forced the isolation of the species into little islands of forest, resulting in a lack of connection with one another and an inability to mate to mate and have babies.
Protected areas and breeding centers have become the new answer to where do pandas live. Caring animal activists are trying to help the giant panda survive by creating these special habitats. China has 37 official areas, all of them located in the mountainous southwestern region of the nation. The most famous of these is the protected temperate forest of the Wolong Nature Reserve.
Where do pandas live becomes an ever important question. The giant panda is an umbrella species and this means that protecting the panda protects the habitat for many other wild plants and animals that are critical to the biodiversity of the forest.
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