Panda Populations on the Rebound

SCIENCE

The population of wild giant pandas has risen some 17% in just over a decade, the Chinese government reported this week. (Nat Geo News)

Play our game to design a giant panda wildlife reserve with the right amount of food, water, and shelter to help your pandas be healthy, learn important survival and social skills, and prepare for release into the wild.

Teachers, scroll down for a short list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, including today’s MapMaker Interactive map!

Peek-a-boo panda! Obviously terrible at camouflage, Ailuropoda melanoleuca have become a symbol of endangered species worldwide. Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

Peek-a-boo panda! Obviously terrible at camouflage, Ailuropoda melanoleuca have become a symbol of endangered species worldwide. Learn more about pandas from Nat Geo KiDS!
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

Discussion Ideas

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 7.40.40 AM

The yellow color shows the current range of the giant panda in central China, while the shaded orange area shows where the bears once roamed throughout eastern Asia.

 

  • According to the latest survey, there are 1,864 pandas living in China. About a third of those are living in the wild. How many pandas are living in the wild? OH NO, MATH!
    • About 615 pandas are living in the wild.

 

 

  • What are some likely reasons for the reported increase in panda population?
    • Conservation efforts have been a success.
    • Researchers surveyed a much larger area than previous reports. A larger area probably means more pandas to count.
    • Researchers used improved methods to count pandas. New approaches included taking DNA samples from mucus and droppings found in the wild. These methods probably give a more accurate count of pandas than traditional examination of droppings.

 

 

  • How else can people help protect pandas?
    • According to Nat Geo grantee Mark Brody, senior adviser for conservation and sustainable development at the Wolong Nature Reserve, conservationists need to focus on protecting the panda’s habitat. Panda habitat is shrinking due to rapid agricultural and industrial development. Small reserves are also not linked, cutting off pandas’ natural migration corridors. “So if we can couple China’s remarkably successful breeding programs with land restoration and linking of habitat, we have a much better chance at success,” says Brody.

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

Nat Geo: Wild Panda Population Up Dramatically in China, Government Says

Nat Geo: Giant Pandas: Into the Wild interactive

Nat Geo: Giant Panda Ranges map

One response to “Panda Populations on the Rebound

  1. Pingback: Great news for Pandas! | Species Savers·

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