SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – National Panda Day is March 16, which means it is time for some fun facts about pandas. Here is a list of five things you should know about giant pandas.
They are no longer endangered
As of 2021, giant pandas have been reclassified as “vulnerable,” instead of “endangered.” This is because of successful breeding efforts in captivity. These efforts mean that as of 2022, there were around 600 living in captivity, while there were around 1,800 living in the wild.
Their biggest threat is habitat destruction
Pandas live their lives in forests where they munch away on bamboo, which makes up the majority of their diet. However, because of the encroachment of humans on their habitats through logging and agricultural endeavors, their forests have become separated. This has caused the pandas to be isolated from one another, impeding their ability to expand their population.
They communicate mostly through scent marking
Perhaps because these creatures live in isolation, they never developed the ability to express themselves through body language. Instead, they usually communicate with other pandas through noises or, more commonly, scent marking. This means that they use scents created by their urine and fur to mark routes and territory.
Newborn pandas are 1/900th the size of their mother
A newborn panda is typically around three to five ounces, making it one of the smallest mammalian newborns compared to its mother’s body size. The only babies smaller in comparison to their mother’s body size are marsupials.
Pandas can live over 30 years in captivity
While it is not certain how old a giant panda can live in the wild, one thing is certain: they live longer in captivity. Giant pandas live on average up to 30 years in captivity, though pandas in China have been reported to live up to 35 years in captivity.