Q:

Why are giant pandas becoming extinct?

A:

Quick Answer

Giant pandas are becoming extinct due to extensive habitat loss and destruction by hunters. Habitat loss destroys bamboo, which is the giant panda's sole food source. It also isolates pandas causing a reduction in the rate that mating and reproduction occurs. Poachers kill only a few pandas each year, but hunters of other animals in the area accidentally kill pandas on a more regular basis further reducing their numbers.

Continue Reading
Why are giant pandas becoming extinct?
Credit: Keren Su Stone Getty Images

Full Answer

All wild giant pandas live in the Yangtze River basin in China. Rapid industrialization in China has destroyed much of the forest in this area. Each giant panda eats about 28 pounds of bamboo a day, and a dwindling supply of bamboo due to fewer bamboo forests leads to malnourishment and fewer pandas.

Pandas are solitary animals each living in their own territory. Individual pandas only meet up briefly during the spring for mating. Growing numbers of roads and miles of railway track increasingly prevent pandas from finding suitable mates during the brief period when females are fertile.

Chinese laws provide some protection for the endangered giant panda population. Preserves provide protection for some of the population, and anti-poaching laws are strictly enforced. Many pandas live in zoos, and captive breeding programs have become increasingly successful.

Learn more about Environmental Science

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do pandas have tails?

    A:

    Giant pandas have tails, but on adults they often go unnoticed because the tails make up less than 10 percent of the total body of an adult. The tail of an adult giant panda is also often tucked close to the body, making it difficult to spot.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do giant pandas look like?

    A:

    Giant pandas have a large black-and-white body with a white face and torso and black eye patches, ears, muzzle, legs and shoulders. Some scientists believe their coloration provides camouflage in their natural habitat.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why have giant pandas become endangered?

    A:

    Giant pandas are endangered due to hunting and habitat loss. While it is illegal to hunt giant pandas and poaching has declined, hunters still sometimes accidentally kill them while seeking other animals. The panda's primary habitat is the Yangtze Basin region. Fragmentation of the area caused by roads and railroads has isolated panda populations, which not only prevents them from meeting and mating, but also reduces their access to bamboo.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the causes of environmental degradation in India?

    A:

    According to the Foundation for Sustainable Development, India's high population, coupled with its comparatively small geographic size, has resulted in major environmental degradation, including the loss of forests and the depletion of water and other natural resources. Air pollution, water pollution and an abundance of solid waste are major problems on the Indian subcontinent.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore