Everyone knows and loves the Giant Panda. They are huge, soft, and huggable, but what most people don’t know is that they are dangerously endangered. There are only about 1000-2000 pandas living in the wild.
Why they are important: The Giant Panda is crucial in the conservation of China’s unique forests and the spreading of bamboo seeds. The Panda also keeps other species such as the Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey and Crested Ibis under control. Also, by helping the Panda, we are indirectly helping their habitat, the Chinese bamboo forests, and the many species living there.
What is the problem: The Giant Panda is currently classified on IUCN’s Red List as an endangered species with an estimated 1,600 living in the wild. While conservation efforts have allowed the Panda population to grown in the last five years, the species is still in a dangerous position due to low birth rates.
Why they are going extinct: Bamboo is almost the only things that Pandas eat, providing both the Panda’s diet and habitat. Due to the value of bamboo, and its many uses, it is being cut down and processed, causing there to be less food left for the Pandas. This makes our little fluffy friends starve and die. In addition, human expansion causes habitat destruction, making it difficult for Pandas to find places to live.
How we can help: There are not many direct ways that we can help the Pandas, but, here is what we CAN do:
- Donate to conservation projects. There are many organizations trying to help Pandas, research the one that works best for you.
- Travel Smart: The Chinese government and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are working together to reduce the harm from tourism on Panda habitats by encouraging eco-tourism.
- Spread the word. Tell your friends and family about the Pandas’ struggles and have them help put too.
- Refrain from buying furniture made from bamboo harvested in China, the Panda’s habitat.
Want more of The Endangered? Check out the growing list of articles on our Wildlife page.