Giant panda

The fading black and white bears of the bamboo forests


The black and white beauty with an expressionless face pointed canines, and huge bearish body, these furballs are loved all over the globe.

Once common throughout southern China and as far north as Beijing and south into Southeast Asia, the Panda’s distribution is presently confined to six mountain ranges in Chinese provinces.

These Carnivora evolved to specialize in a diet of a particular grass—bamboo! Since bamboos are low in nutrition, they eat a lot daily and are highly frugal with their energy expenditure.

Habitat fragmentation and degradation confined Pandas to high elevations, resulting in small isolated subpopulations increasing vulnerability to extinction through loss of genetic diversity.


Population est.
Official estimate
Extinct locally: Hunan, Hubei
Official estimate
Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu

Recent updates

2022: China announced plans to establish a new national park in the Sichuan province to protect the giant panda’s habitat. The park will cover an area of 27,000 km² (2.7 million hectare) and is expected to provide a safe haven for pandas and other endangered species.

2021: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced that it had secured funding to establish a new nature reserve in China’s Qingling Mountains, which is home to a significant population of wild pandas. The reserve will provide protection for pandas and other endangered species in the region.

Did you know?

  • The panda’s body is mostly white to help it hide in snowy settings, while its limbs are black to help it hide in the shadows
  • They eat a lot and poop a lot! Apart from bamboo, they eat grasses, bulbs, fruits, some insects, and even rodents and carrion, pretty much whatever they can find.
  • A “pseudo-thumb” bone extends from their wrist, helping in holding bamboo.
  • Unlike bears, Giant Pandas do not hibernate. Females use rock caves or tree cavities to rear offspring, so dens and primary forests play an important role in their conservation.
  • Babies are born blind and only about 5 ounces. They are born white and develop their popular coloration later.
  • They may appear lethargic, but they are expert tree climbers and swimmers.
  • They are solitary and male pandas often perform “handstands” to leave scent marks high up on trees.

Anything we've missed?

Help us improve this page by suggesting edits. Glory never dies!

Suggest an edit

Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No