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News [MORE]
Unexpected Effect of Climate Change On Body Size for Many Different Species
Evolution of a Stream: Plants and Sea-Life Claim New Territory as Glaciers Retreat in Glacier Bay, Alaska
Fearing a Planet Without Apes
'Rewilded' rare tiger kills 'domesticated' relative
Panda Census In China To Begin For First Time In 10 Years
About Pandas

The giant panda lives primarily in the forested mountains of China near plentiful stands of bamboo, its principal food. In the wild, it eats many different kinds of bamboo and different parts of the bamboo plant at different times. This suggests a more complex set of nutritional needs than we currently understand.

At one time, giant pandas ranged widely in China and surrounding countries. Now most of their natural habitat has been taken over by people and there are far fewer areas for them to live in nature. Because they live in very remote and rugged areas, it is also hard to count them accurately. Estimates vary from 1500 to 2500 giant pandas living today (including about 300 more now in captivity at zoos and research facilities under the supervision of China). We very much fear that this number is declining in the wild faster than new giant pandas are born in captivity. We also currently lack the knowledge and experience to reintroduce captive giant pandas successfully to the wild.

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