Background: Giant Pandas reside in coniferous forests that contain large amounts of bamboo at elevations of 5,000 to 10,000 feet. Pandas can grow to about four to six feet long, and two to three feet tall while standing on all fours. Females weigh about 220 pounds, whereas the males weigh roughly 250 pounds. Pandas may live up to 35 years or more!
ANYWAYS: There are roughly 1,600 pandas left in the world. Therefore, they are on the endangered species list.
WHY are they endangered?
1. Low Reproductive rate: pandas have a tendency to want to be alone for the majority of the year, and the breeding season is very short. The females only give birth to one or two cubs, generally... yet only really gives attention to one. This is why in breeding centers, if twins are born, the caretakers will watch one of the babies and leave the other with the mother. They will switch the babies once in a while, to ensure they both receive the mother's milk.
2. Bamboo Shortages: When bamboo plants release seeds and flower, they die soon after. Bamboo is a very slowly growing plant. Pandas are able to eat up to 25 types of bamboo, but there are only about 4 or 5 types that grow in their normal habitat. All the bamboo plants of the same species, that grow in the same area will bloom and die at the same time. When the bamboo plants die, the pandas move to different areas that have what they are looking for, yet that now poses a problem, as humans are currently taking over many areas that were home to pandas and their food source.
3. Habitat Destruction: There are currently more than a billion people living in China. The building of homes and factories is destroying the homes of pandas, and displacing them.
4. Hunting: Hunters often do not set out in search of pandas, but rather accidentally catch them in the snares meant for deer.