By: Ashtun Welling
Pandas are on the verge of extinction. They play a primary role in the bamboo forest by spreading seeds spreading growth of vegetation where they wander. There are only about 1,864 pandas left in the wild. Pandas live in Yangtze Basin, a home to a stunning array of other endangered species, including the takin, golden monkey, and crested ibis. The panda’s habitat is at the geographic and economic heart of China, which brings in huge benefits to local communities through tourism. The removal of any species has dramatic consequences for those that remain.
Pandas live mainly in bamboo forests high in the mountains of western China, where they subsist almost entirely on bamboo. Pandas must eat 26-48 pounds of bamboo every day. The expansion of agriculture upstream along principal river valleys separated this distribution into separate regions in six mountain ranges. Currently, the giant panda occurs in portions of these six mountain ranges in China's Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan Provinces.
Forest destruction reduces pandas’ access to the bamboo they need to survive. The expansion of agriculture upstream along principal river valleys separated this distribution into separate regions in six mountain ranges. Currently, the giant panda occurs in portions of these six mountain ranges in China's Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan Provinces.
The Chinese government has enclosed more than 50 reserves, but only about 61% are protected from hunters. Poaching the animals for their fur has declined due to the strict laws and greater public awareness of the panda’s protected status, although accidents happen when hunters seek out other animals in panda's’ habitats. Poaching was a serious problem in the past, but it has dropped off, and it is no longer considered a major problem in substantial portions of the range. Furthermore, panda's' body parts have not been sought for use in traditional Chinese medicine.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is an international conservation organization protecting pandas and their habitat. Despite being one of the most popular animals in the world, giant pandas are threatened by habitat fragmentation and unsustainable development. It could be a possibility that they do go extinct, you could help by adopting a panda. The website www.wwf.org is accepting donations to help out the pandas.