Why are pandas in danger of extinction?
L’Éditorial on October 27, 2014 “If pandas are slowly disappearing on Earth, it is because humans are getting more and more wood. Too slow: 2 babies are born in 12-14 years.
Fortunately, parks like Shanghai Zoo come to their rescue. The panda is a real national treasure in China! The giant panda: a perfect symbol!
As a national treasure in China, the panda is of particular importance to the WWF. It has been its symbol since its inception in 1961. Its name means “bear cat” in Tibetan. Although they belong to the Ursidae family, their pupils are divided vertically like in cats.
In 1961, the London Zoo welcomed a new resident named “Chi-Chi”: a giant panda. Environmental artist Gerald Watterson paints his portrait.
The importance of pandas.
One of the founders of the WWF, Sir Peter Scott, drew the environmental organization’s first logo from his sketches. To this day, the panda is a symbol of the WWF and even a global symbol of the fight against the species’ disappearance.
The giant panda is usually depicted peacefully eating bamboo, adding to its image of innocence. Although it is carnivorous, this animal mainly feeds on plants.
Predominantly white in colour, with black ears, legs and eye contours, its thick fur protects it from the cold of the high altitude regions where it lives.
While the giant panda was frequently seen in southern and eastern China, as well as Myanmar and northern Vietnam, its range has now reduced to about 20 isolated forest areas in the mountainous regions of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu (China) provinces. Due to population growth and human activities.
Distribution / Accommodation
- China (6 Massifs in 3 Provinces)
- Estimated 1,864 people (2013)
- from 1.20 to 1.50 square meters
Composed of 99% plants, almost only bamboo (up to 20 kg per day). Other plants, sometimes including meat (such as abandoned carcasses)
Vulnerable (IUCN 2016)
Classified in Appendix I of CITES
Giant panda sits in the snow and eats bamboo?
Panda belongs to the order of carnivores and has a digestive system capable of digesting meat. However, its diet is composed of 99% plants, almost exclusively bamboo.
He can swallow up to 20 kg per day and spends about 14 hours chewing them because he cannot assimilate cellulose (without a “cecum”, like any uricide, he can only digest 17%). commitment of the Chinese provinces.
The work of the provincial governments of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi to ensure the survival of the giant panda has raised hopes of saving the species from extinction and even allowing pandas to live in the wild one day.
Change in IUCN Status
All conservation efforts are not in vain: after years of decline, there has been little improvement! In 2016, the status of the panda was changed from threatened species to threatened species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, confirming the good results of conservation measures.