Thursday, January 3, 2008

Endangered species - Giant panda

Pandas are among most lovable animals since many people consider them being cute and peace-loving. Pandas only live in China and current estimations say that only about 1600 pandas still live in wildness.

Pandas are endangered because of many reasons, mainly because of the demand for land and natural resources by China's enormous population. Among other reasons there's the poaching since their dense fur holds very high price on illegal market.

Pandas usually live 20-30 years, can weigh up to 115 kg (253 pounds) and have their unique black-and-white coat as their trademark. Their well known meal is bamboo and this is also causing problem for their survival since timber profit gained from harvesting bamboo has destroyed a significant portion of the food supply for the wild panda. Bamboo flowers grow only every 80 to 100 years and it takes more than 20 years to grow enough to sustain panda population.The fact that pandas have very low birth-rate isn't encouraging either.

In 1984 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the giant panda as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Hopefully considering the popularity of these animals, pandas will survive in wildness, but much will depend about China's government policy.

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