Ailuropoda Melanolenca - Giant Panda

Giant Panda

Environment: The giant panda is confined to south-central China. Currently, it occurs in portions of six isolated mountain ranges (Minshan, Qinling, Qionglai, Liangshan, Daxiangling, and Xiaoxiangling) in Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan Provinces (about 75% of the population inhabits Sichuan Province). The panda's total range encompasses approximately 30,000 sq km between 102–108.3° E longitude and 28.2–34.1° N latitude. This range highly overlaps that of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), although the ecological requirements of these species differ appreciably (Schaller et al. 1989).

Status: Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1

Population trend: decreasing

Native Habitat: China (Gansu, Hubei - Regionally Extinct, Hunan - Regionally Extinct, Shaanxi, Sichuan)

Habitat Loss / threats: Restricted and degraded habitat is the greatest threat to giant pandas. Chinese authorities have established a network of panda reserves, and linkages now exist among some of these, but small population size and small total range remains a threat to the viability of this species. Poaching of pandas was a serious problem in the past, but it has greatly diminished, and is no longer considered a major threat.