Pandas are perfectly adapted to do two things: eat bamboo and steal hearts. Sadly, wild pandas are as threatened as they are loveable.
ON VIDEO: Check out Jack Black talk panda survival in this new video.
Wild pandas live in only one place on Earth: the mountains of Southwest China. The one food that guarantees their survival, bamboo, grows in abundance here. Pandas share this area with numerous other plants and animals unique to the region. Millions of people in Asia depend on the health of this ecosystem for fresh water, clean air, and fertile soil.
This special place, the only habitat of the wild panda, is changing, and pandas are losing their home. The remaining population of wild pandas – perhaps as few as 1,600 adults – live in scattered patches of bamboo forest that have been isolated by farming, logging, road construction, dam building, urban expansion, and tourism development.
Climate change poses a further threat to panda habitat. As temperatures and rainfall patterns change, so will the availability of bamboo. If food becomes unavailable in the isolated patches where pandas live, they have nowhere else to go.
Pandas could forever disappear from the wild. This fact forces all of us who have been touched by the serene beauty of these majestic animals to ask ourselves what kind of world we are leaving for future generations. Can we really do nothing while an animal this precious vanishes?
Conservation International's partners in China have an ambitious but achievable agenda for protect the wild panda. We’re working with panda guardians – scientists, nature reserve staff, and local communities – to join hands in securing and connecting panda habitat so that the pandas will have a healthy and vibrant wilderness to call home.