Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pandas - Cute animals on the brink of extinction

Pandas live only in China, and they are definitely among the cutest animals on planet. Pandas need forests rich with bamboos to survive but these forests have been heavily destroyed in the last couple of decades as there was big population boom in China, and more people means less available habitats for pandas.

Habitat loss is the most important factor that contributed to pandas tremendous population decline (there are now only about 1600 pandas living in wildness). The bamboo forests in which the pandas live once being cut down are not only causing loss of habitat but starvation as well because there are not enough bamboo to eat. Pandas spent each day ten to twelve hours feeding, with their diet based almost entirely on bamboo (99 % of its diet). There is also problem with breeding since female panda can only release egg cells twice a year, which reduces the probability of the sperm meeting the egg, resulting in smaller number of cubs.

Pandas need bamboo for survival.

Once Chinese peasants clear the forest land for farming pandas are left not only without their homes, but also without the necessary food (bamboo), and many pandas have starved to death once forests have been chopped down. Luckily poaching is no more such a serious problem as it used to be, mostly because of China's government efforts to protect remaining numbers. It has to be said here that China has started to realize how serious panda problem really is, and is doing the necessary measures that could mean recovery of panda population in years to come. After all panda is one of the China's national symbols.

One of these measures was new panda breeding centre that was badly needed to replace a world-famous preserve badly damaged by huge earthquake in southwestern Sichuan province. This new facility will host more than $200 million in projects to preserve the endangered panda species. The Wolong Panda Breeding Centre, near Sichuan's capital of Chengdu, was nearly destroyed in the May 12 2008 earthquake. Hopefully this new breeding centre will help recovery of panda population and save these cute and lovable animals from extinction.

This video will show you how cute and lovable pandas really are, especially young pandas. They are so adorable.

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