Q:

Where do pandas live?

A:

Quick Answer

The panda's natural habitat is in the mountains of western China. While never large, the giant panda's natural habitat has grown smaller with time.

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Where do pandas live?
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Full Answer

Although giant pandas can be seen in zoos across the world, the National Zoological Park indicates that currently, they naturally only appear in mountainous forested lands in China's Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Gansu provinces. Their habitat is not a continuous stretch of land but is comprised of separate patches where they are able to survive. Because giant pandas eat nothing but bamboo, they must have access to this plant in the wild; they need to consume 20 to 45 pounds of bamboo shoots a day to absorb enough nutrients. As bamboo forests are cleared, the panda's habitat disappears. China is engaging in conservation efforts to ensure the species' survival.

The panda's natural habitat has shrunk dramatically over time, but they were never especially prevalent on a grand scale. These are special animals that have always existed in a limited region and are now considered a highly endangered species. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, pandas once lived as far south as Myanmar and Vietnam. These animals have very specific needs, and they have largely been unable to adapt to the rapid changes around them as bamboo forests are cleared to make room for human development.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do giant pandas live?

    A:

    The giant panda is native to the high-mountain bamboo forests of western China. As of 2014, the wild panda population is limited to the Quinling and the Minshan mountain ranges, according to WWF Global. While their habitat was once much more widespread, including much of southern and eastern China, Myanmar and northern Vietnam, the growth of the human population restricts giant pandas to approximately 20 isolated areas.

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  • Q:

    Why are giant pandas hunted?

    A:

    In the past, giant pandas were killed for use in medicine, but hunting these gentle animals is now banned in China. While the ban has led to a decline in poaching, poachers still occasionally kill giant pandas for their fur. As of 2014, 1,000 to 1,600 giant pandas remain in the wild and in captivity.

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  • Q:

    What is the giant panda's predator?

    A:

    Due to their unique habitat and large size, giant pandas have no predators in their natural environment. Human poaching and habitat loss pose the biggest threats to giant pandas, leading to their classification as an endangered species.

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  • Q:

    How do pandas adapt to their habitat?

    A:

    Pandas have adapted to their habitat by evolving a body shape, a digestive system and behavior patterns to accommodate a diet consisting almost exclusively of bamboo. Their fur has evolved to conform to the climate, landscape and foliage of their habitat. Because of the hilly terrain and lack of severity of the weather, they do not hibernate like other bears but instead move to lower elevations in winter.

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