China, which is home to all the world’s wild pandas, held its fourth National Giant Panda Survey, an intensive effort to count pandas that’s supported in part by the World Wildlife Fund.
In 1963, the PRC government set up Wolong National Nature Reserve to save the declining panda population. However, few advances in the conservation of pandas were made at the time, owing to inexperience and insufficient knowledge of ecology. Many believed the best way to save the pandas was to cage them. As a result, pandas were caged at any sign of decline and suffered from terrible conditions. Because of pollution and destruction of their natural habitat, along with segregation caused by caging, reproduction of wild pandas was severely limited. In the 1990s, however, several laws (including gun control and the removal of resident humans from the reserves) helped their chances of survival. With these renewed efforts and improved conservation methods, wild pandas have started to increase in numbers in some areas, though they still are classified as a rare species.
According to the latest survey in 2015, there are 1,864 pandas in the wild. That’s a 16.8% increase since the previous survey, which was released in 2003.
The population of wild pandas is on the rise. In 2016, giant pandas were reclassified from "endangered" to "vulnerable".
Wild pandas live mainly in bamboo forests high in the mountainous regions of Western China, in Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces.
They mainly live in areas at an elevation of between 5,000 and 10,000 feet (1,524 to 3,048 meters), which are rich in bamboo forests.
The chance of seeing a giant panda in the wild is very small, even for professional staff members in the panda reserves.
If you want to explore the wild pandas' habitat, the best place is Wolong. Wolong, known as "the homeland of pandas" in China, is part of the original habitat of wild pandas.
You can consider taking a hike in Dengsheng Gorge, which is an authentic natural habitat for wild giant pandas as well as other wild and rare animals.
though there is a slim chance of seeing pandas or even their footprints, you will be impressed by the beautiful scenery, fresh air, rare plants, and tranquility far away from the city's hustle and bustle.
You might have learned that giant pandas like bamboo very much. Yes, bamboo forms 99% of their daily diet.
They eat bamboo for 12–14 hours a day, which adds up to 12.5 kilograms (28 pounds) of bamboo each day.
Occasionally, they eat rodents, fish, insects, birds, and fruit to supplement their diet.
Panda families don’t live together. Giant pandas like being alone. It is very rare to see two pandas together, except for during the short breeding season (March to May).
After mating, the male and female pandas will part and the female panda will raise her baby panda alone.
Wild pandas have a heightened sense of smell that lets them know when another panda is nearby and they try to avoid direct contact with others.
If a panda comes into contact with another one, they'll growl, swat, and bite each other until one gives up and leaves.
There is no doubt that the giant panda is one of the loveliest animals in the world. But don't take it lightly if you see a wild panda, even though the chance of this happening is almost zero.
Don't forget they are bears and they can be dangerous.
When you join in a panda volunteer program at a panda base, please do not wear perfume or nail polish, and do not make any noise or sudden movements that might startle or irritate the pandas.
Many bears hibernate but giant pandas don't. One reason is that bamboo doesn't provide enough nutrients for them to be able to live through the winter.
In the winter, they go down to lower mountains for the warmer temperature and more bamboo.
Wild pandas live for up to 20 years in the wild. With medical and nutritional help in captivity, pandas can live for more than 30 years.
Top 4 Sichuan Tours chosen by most customers to explore Sichuan in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
We are here to help you...
Start planning your tailor-made Sichuan Tours with 1-1 help from our travel advisors.