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Published by Thelma Blandon, 2019-12-11 11:20:39

Living in Black and White

Giant Panda

Living in Black and White

By: Christian Oh and Oliver

Who are the Giant Pandas?

Pandas live mainly in bamboo forests high in the mountains of
western China. A newborn panda is about the size of a stick of
butter about 1/900th the size of its mother but can grow to up to
330 pounds as an adult. Giant pandas have a distinctive
appearance. Their thick black and white fur equips them for life
in cool forests. Their white coat with black markings is unique,
with black patches around the eyes and ears, black legs, and a
black band around the shoulders and, they have cute white tails.

Giant panda’s survival

A panda's daily diet consists almost entirely of the leaves, stems, and
shoots of various bamboo species. Bamboo contains very little nutritional
value so pandas must eat 12-38 kg every day to meet their energy needs.
But they do branch out, with about 1% of their diet comprising other plants
and even meat. They use their enlarged wrist bones that function as
opposable thumbs. These bears are excellent tree climbers despite their
bulk. Physiologically, giant pandas are carnivores (they are made to eat
meat), but they prefer a vegetarian diet. Herbivores are, by definition,
anatomically suited to a plant-based diet. The giant panda is no herbivore.
He's essentially a vegetarian, a carnivore that eats little or no meat.

Giant panda’s habitat

According to National zoo “Giant pandas
live in a few mountain ranges in south
central China, in Sichuan, Shaanxi and
Gansu provinces. They once lived in
lowland areas, but farming, forest
clearing and other development now
restrict giant pandas to the mountains.

Giant panda’s habitat

They live in mixed broadleaf and
coniferous forests between elevations of
4,000 and 13,000 feet. Abundant
rainfall, mist, and heavy clouds
characterize these forests. The climate
is temperate, without extremes in the
winter or summer.

Vulnerability and factors

Giant pandas have been exposed to several
threats to their survival, such as bamboo
flowering, extensive poaching, and habitat
destruction. Bamboo, small rodents, musk
deer fawns and other grasses are all some
of the biotic factors in the giant pandas
habitat. Some abiotic factors include water
and soil in mountains.

Food web

In the food web, energy is
transferred from one living
organism through another in the
form of food. The panda’s food web
is divided into three sections,
primary producers, primary
consumers, secondary consumers
and decomposer, all part of the
food chain.

More detail in the food web

Photosynthesis is the beginnings of the food web it
produces the energy to help plants grow, which are
the primary producers. The panda comes under the
secondary consumer, as it uses photosynthesis to
produce its food, Bamboo. Cubs become a prey to
other animals such as Leopards and tigers, which are
known as the primary consumer. However adults
intimidate other predators because of their great
size. Decomposers such as worms, mushrooms, flies
and maggots break down dead plants and animals

Cause and effect on giant panda’s population

Giant pandas first became endangered in 1990 due to
excessive poaching in the 80s and deforestation,
depleting their bamboo food source. According to
WWF(2004) “1985-1988 Ministry of Forestry (now the
State Forestry Administration) worked with WWF to
conduct the second survey of giant panda’s population
and living conditions around the country. The survey
results were released in 1988, showing that the
population of wild giant panda was just 1114 in China.”

Cause and effect on giant panda’s population

A fickle species, bamboo can grow extensively in
mountainous or barren lands but then dies in
the winter. This forces giant pandas in those
areas to relocate for their food. Farmland
expansion causes fragmentation of panda
habitats, secluding the species to those locations
deprived of bamboo and other pandas.

Analysis of CCC

Success for the giant panda,
endangered since 1990, is thanks
to two factors: A marked decrease
in poaching, which was rampant
in the 1980s; and a huge expansion
of the animal's protected habitat.
The latest census in 2014 found
that there were 1,864 giant pandas
alive in the wild.

Stats on Giant Pandas

● Status: Vulnerable
● Population: 1,864 in the wild
● Scientific Name: Ailuropoda

● Height: Grow to more than four feet
● Weight: 220-330 pounds
● Habitats: Temperate broadleaf and

mixed forests of southwest China.

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