National Panda Day - Less Than 2000 Remaining!

National Panda Day - Less Than 2000 Remaining!

Posted by Ellie Hutchin on Mar 16, 2018

Every year, the 16th March plays host to a whole day dedicated to the adorable Giant Pandas! The day is committed to spreading awareness for the need to protect these animals whom, it is no secret, are a listed endangered species. National Panda day aims to communicate to the rest of the world that deforestation is destroying the Panda habitat and putting them at risk. Well known for their famous bamboo diet (which unsurprisingly involves consuming huge amounts of bamboo), these animals although protected by some laws in China, are still an example of how humans are severely impacting upon the panda habitat. If Pandas have a chance of recovering from their current endangered state, conservation efforts must be increased to achieve this.

Why Are Pandas Endangered?

Panda in Tree

The world famous Giant Panda is considered a national treasure in China, but roads and railroads continuously fragment their forest home. Because of this, panda populations are isolated which can prevent mating and restricts crucial access to the bamboo that the bears need to eat to survive.

Over the years, awareness of the Panda’s protected status and laws in China has expanded, and things have become much stricter regarding this. Fortunately, poaching the animals for their fur has been restricted as a result of enforcing these laws. However, poaching and hunting stands as an ever-present threat, and hunters pursuing other animals will continue to kill the black and white bears accidentally.

As it stands, there are less than 2,000 Giant Pandas left in the wild; 1,864 according to WWF. This puts them at a vulnerable risk of becoming extinct. Organisations around the world are putting in efforts to build a sustainable habitat for these creatures. This involves increasing the areas of panda habitat that are under legal protection and building local facilities for nature reserve management.

What Is The Panda Habitat Like?

Pandas Playing

In the wild, Pandas are found in the remote mountainous regions of China. The habitat is perfectly suited to the needs of these majestic bears as there are cool, wet bamboo forests for them to roam and eat in. They live in dens which they make from hollowed out logs or stumps of conifer trees that they acquire from the surrounding forests.

Pandas are lone rangers and they like their own territory. They tend to claim a territory of approximately 5 square kilometres which they mark by secreting a waxy scent marker which they rub all over the area.

Can You Tell Me More About Baby Pandas?

Giant Pandas mate in the spring and the female will be pregnant for 100 – 180 days. A baby panda is called a cub, and a mother panda can birth up to two cubs at a time. They weigh in at birth at only 3 – 5 ounces, which is the equivalent of 85 – 142 grams! In comparison, they weigh only 1/900 of their mother’s weight. They have a fine coat of fur at birth so can sometimes appear pink in colour and they will not open their eyes until they are up to eight weeks old. The ability to see is not something a Panda is born with, they are born completely blind, helpless, and dependent on their mother.

Like human babies, new-born pandas have no ability to stand as their limbs are too weak. Baby Pandas are completely dependent for two months after birth. All they do is feed on their mother’s milk, sleep and go to the toilet!

The babies begin to crawl after three weeks, and by the time they are three months old they can walk roughly a meter and their hearing would have started to improve. Their bamboo diet takes place when they are six months old and are starting to become playful with their mothers. By the time they are two, they leave their mothers to fend for themselves.

Wild female Giant Pandas become mature enough to mate between the ages of 5 and a half to six and a half years. The male however will become mature between the ages of 6-7 years. Males will track a female by responding to scents and vocalisation. When the female Giant Panda is in oestrus, her glandular secretions and urine are different to when she is not, so the males are fully aware of what is going on!

Hit Me With Some Panda Facts!

 

Panda in The Wild

  • The Giant Panda is one of the shyest animals in the world
  • They are lone rangers- they hate other panda’s company so much that they will often come into conflict if they meet in the wild.
  • Pandas have an extra digit on their hands to help them to tear bamboo, and their gut is covered with a thick layer of mucus to protect against splinters.
  • They are very skilled tree climbers with broad paws with retractile claws to help grip when climbing. They climb higher for food in the summer season or retreat in trees when hiding from predators such as brown bears, leopards or wild dogs.
  • They do not hibernate but take shelter in caves and hollow trees in very cold weather.
  • The Giant Panda is part of the bear family whilst the red panda belongs to the raccoon family.
  • Pandas' bones are twice as heavy as other animals of the same size.
  • Many Chinese philosophers think the panda represents the opposing Yin and Yang forces with its black and white fur; they believe the tender nature of the panda demonstrates how peace can be achieved when the Yin and The Yang are balanced.

How Can You Celebrate National Panda Day?

 

Panda and Baby

There are many simple ways to celebrate the day and raise awareness for these beautiful creatures. You can post about it online or wear panda inspired Clothing. There are some other ways you can get involved too! Here at The Great Projects, we run our Panda Volunteer Experience in Chengdu where you can volunteer and help these amazing animals. There are currently 40 Pandas at the centre waiting for you to come along to help with cleaning and feeding, so what are you waiting for? For more information please visit the project page.

Take a look at how cute pandas can be when they're waiting for their dinner! Also, why not share the infographic at the bottom of this page?


Share this Article...

Share this article with your friends and followers by using the social media buttons below.


Leave a Comment...

Wanting to add something to this story or just let us know your thoughts? Just leave your comments below. Please be aware that all comments will be moderated: abusive behaviour or self-promotion will not be allowed.

500 characters remaining

Has this blog inspired you to volunteer? If so, why not enquire today? Simply fill out an enquiry form, and allow a member of our travel team to assist with your query! Please note that blog comments are not monitored by the travel team, so any questions related to bookings may be missed.


Featured Blog Arcticles


Featured Videos


See what you could get up to as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary!

See how you can aid the conservation of the stunning Asian elephant in the wild Sri Lankan jungle when you volunteer on The Great Elephant Project!

Check out this video where we hear from volunteer Stacey and conservation manager Judy about how valued volunteers are on the Rhino And Elephant Conservation Project. 

Latest Blog Arcticles


The Nyaru Menteng Honey Dipper Project!

The Nyaru Menteng Honey Dipper Project!

Our latest update from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan...

Update From The Rhino and Elephant Conservation Project - A Famous Face Pays A Visit!

Update From The Rhino and Elephant Conservation Project - A Famous Face Pays A Visit!

Read on to learn about the latest goings-on at the Rhino...

An Update From The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre - Rescuing Tom Brady

An Update From The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre - Rescuing Tom Brady

Our latest update from the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre follows...

An Update From Nyaru Menteng – Meet The 6 Most Recent Orangutan Release Candidates

An Update From Nyaru Menteng – Meet The 6 Most Recent Orangutan Release Candidates

Six more orangutans are due to be released back into the...

World Wildlife Day 2019: Life Below Water – For People and Planet

World Wildlife Day 2019: Life Below Water – For People and Planet

Two years on from the UN’s plea to ‘Listen to...

International Polar Bear Day  - See How You Could Make A Difference

International Polar Bear Day - See How You Could Make A Difference

As the world looks towards International Polar Bear Day,...

Footprint Identification Technique - The Future Of Monitoring Wildlife?

Footprint Identification Technique - The Future Of Monitoring Wildlife?

The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary has been working closely...

The Species Which Went Extinct in 2018 - And The Ones We Could Be Set To Lose

The Species Which Went Extinct in 2018 - And The Ones We Could Be Set To Lose

2018 may have been and gone, but a number of wildlife...


Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
   Mon-Fri 8:30am–5:30pm
   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987

Foreign Office Travel Advice