China Panda Facts

 Name: Giant Panda as distinguished from lesser panda. As it is more widely recognized, when people speak about panda now generally they are refering to the giant panda.
 Scientific Name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca, bear family
 Color: Normally black and white. Complete white ones have been found in the wild. All four sightings were in the Shaanxi Foping Nature Reserve in Qinling Mountains. The first brown-white one was found there too.
 Length of Adult Giant Panda: 120-180cm (about 3.9-5.9 feet)
 Weight of Adult Giant Panda: 80-125kg (about 176-276 pounds)
 Food: More than 20 kinds of alpine bamboo (especially young fleshy stems and buds, bamboo shoots). An adult panda eats about 40kg (88 pounds) fresh bamboo shoot a day, 14kg (about 31 pounds) bamboo stalks, or 20kg (about 44 pounds) bamboo leaves. It has a greater appetite in summer than winter. In the wild, they may eat other plants and occasionally dead or small animals. Their ancestors were true carnivores. About one million years ago, they began to eat bamboo.
 Enemies: Asian golden cat, tiger, panther, jackal, wolf, yellow-throated marten

Morphological Features: 
Typical body shape of bears; black fur on ears, eye patches, muzzle, legs, arms and shoulders, light brown or grey fur on belly and the rest of the coat is white; tail length from 10 to 20 cm (3.9-7.9 inches); the paw has five digits and a modified sesamoid bone that enables the animal to hold bamboo while chewing it; wiry and shaggy hair on the back and soft and long hair on the belly. Those living in the Qinling Mountain have a rounder head, smaller skull and bigger teeth that make them look cat like. While Sichuan pandas have a comparatively large and long head, smaller teeth, more closely resembling other bears.

 Preferred Habits: 
They like cool and wet areas and do not hibernate. They are naturally solitary choosing to live alone. Although they look plump, they are good at climbing trees, which is instinctive of their ancestor for hunting and escaping from dangers. They like water and usually choose to live nearby the streams. They have good eyesight which allows them to see clearly and find food at night.

A male giant panda's range of activity is approximately 6-7km in a year and they moved around in half of this range each month. A female's range of activity is 4-5km and they will move around within only 1/10 of their territory. Compared with a yearly activity range of 30km for a black bear, their territory is small.


Wolong Panda Reserve
They spent over half a day searching for food and feeding, over 40% of day for sleeping and only 2% to play. They live alone for most of their life, except one month during the breeding season.

21:00-02:00 night sleep
02:00-07:40 breakfast
07:40-10:30 morning rest
10:30-11:00 play time
11:00-12:00 lunch
12:00-14:30 noon break
14:30-21:00 supper

 Mating and Breeding: 
In the wild, female pandas are able to reproduce at the age of 6.5, mate and have a baby at the age of 7.5. In capative breeding can commence fall at 3.5 years and produce a baby at 4.5 years. Male ones usually start to mate at 7-8 years old. Pandas are on the rampage when they search for mates, and emit different cries to draw their attention. The breeding season is short, during March to May, and the mating happens in 2-4 days of this period.  

Wild female pandas can have 3-4 pregnancies at most, usually one baby each time. They raise cubs alone till they fend for themselves, usually at the age of 1.5 or 2.5 if she does not have new cubs. The pregnancy is usually some 130 days. The possibility of having twin cubs is small. When this happens, they are only capable of raising one. The mothers may leave their cub in a hole or hallow tree as go in search of food for two days or longer. The cubs begin to eat bamboo when they are a year old.   

The average life expectancy of wild giant pandas is 15-20 years while the captive ones can live up to 30 years. Currently, the record age for a captive one is 38 years. Their teenage years are before 5 years old, youth during 5-18 years and old age after 18 years.

 Location of Natural Habitat: 
Mainly in southern Shaanxi, Gansu, Sichuan with 95% living in seven mountain ranges including Qinling, Minshan, etc. Sichuan is the most important habitat, about 80% of China's wild giant pandas. Wanglang National Nature Reserve in Mianyang is the habitat having most wild pandas among the several in Sichuan: Wolong National Nature Reserve (in Wenchuan County), Fengtongzhai Natural Reserve (in Baoxing County), Four Maiden's Mountain Nature Reserve (Xiaojin County), Labahe Nature Reserve (in Tianquan County), Heishuihe Nature Reserve (in Lushan and Dayi Counties), Jintang-Kongyu Nature Reserve (in Kangding County), Caopo Nature Reserve (in Wenchuan County), Dujiangyan Scenic Area, Mt. Qionglai, Mt. Tiantai, Xiling Snow Mountain, Jiguan Mountain-Jiulonggou Valley, Mt. Jiajin, Miyaluo Resort, Mt. Lingjiu-Snow Peak and Mt. Erlang.

Questions & Answers
Asked by Micaela | Mar. 25, 2022 04:51Reply
Is it possible for female pandas to give birth to two cubs in the wild and take care of both?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lily | Mar. 27, 2022 18:45

The fact is, if female pandas give birth to two cubs in the wild, the mother will have to give up one of them and only raise the stronger one to ensure that one of the cubs can survive.
Asked by Ugnė from LITHUANIA | Apr. 27, 2021 23:42Reply
When and how often do they hunt? Or do they even hunt?
Answers (1)
Answered by Robin | May. 09, 2021 17:41

Most of the pandas eat bamboos as their meal, so they do not hunt. They will search for bamboos when they get hungry.
Asked by margaret from USA | Nov. 09, 2020 15:38Reply
what are their teenage, youth, and old years? what years are separated for teen, youth, old age?
Answers (3)
Answered by Lisa Li | Nov. 09, 2020 17:36

The teenage peroid is 0 - 5 years, the adult peroid is 5 - 18 years, and 18 years old is the beginning of old ages.
Answered by margaret | Nov. 10, 2020 16:49

i dont understand why the teenage years are before the youth years. is there another name for the teenage years?
Answered by Morry | Nov. 15, 2020 16:24

I think it is correct that 0-5 are panda's teenage years, and 5-18 years are not their youth year but their adult year.
Asked by hay.rochelle.nelson from AMERICA | Mar. 03, 2020 09:24Reply
what is a pandas diet
Answers (1)
Answered by Mira | Mar. 30, 2020 17:35

The pandas mainly eat bamboo shoots.
Asked by Nora from CALIFORNIA | Nov. 05, 2019 14:59Reply
How long does a panda sleep?
Please answer by thursday
Answers (1)
Answered by Eddie | Nov. 06, 2019 01:06

The pandas sleep around 10 hours a day.
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