Endangered Giant Pandas
One of the most adored and rare animals of the whole world is the Endangered Giant Panda. Not to be confused with their non-related friend the red panda…their population is pretty alarming at a low 3,000. It is one of the most critically endangered species in the world because there are only about 1,000 left in the wild. Their conservation status by the IUCN is rated at “Endangered” (E).
Why Are Giant Pandas Endangered?
Giant Pandas are Endangered because of the neglect of mankind. They are threatened by poaching, human encroachment, habitat loss and trouble breeding in captivity. This is why it is important for people to learn about them so that they do not disappear forever. Many of them are in captivity and very few are displayed at zoos in the US or around the world.
The sustainability of these animals is very difficult due to the fact that these endangered pandas have no desire to mate once in captivity. Chinese pandas have even been given Viagra in hopes of boosting their desire to mate. Many other strategies have been attempted including cloning panda embryos, also what has been dubbed as “panda-porn”- explicit video of pandas mating, traditional herbs and insemination. So far researchers haven’t made much progress with any of those methods.
In 2006, scientists reported that the number of pandas living in the wild may have been underestimated at about 1,000. Previous population surveys had used conventional methods to estimate the size of the wild panda population, but using a new method that analyzes DNA from panda droppings, scientists believe that the wild panda population may be as large as 3,000. Although the species is still endangered, it is thought that the conservation efforts are working. As of 2006, there were 40 panda reserves in China, compared to just 13 reserves two decades ago.
Chinese Government Gouging US Zoos For Pandas
I found it interesting that these animals are so popular that US zoos pay the Chinese government $2 million a year to essentially rent a pair of giant pandas. These pandas are on a 10 year contract and any babies born results in an increase pay up to $600,000 more. Giant Pandas are on loan to zoos in Atlanta, Washington D.C., San Diego, and Memphis. There is an impression in China that US zoos are very rich because when they come over to visit US zoos – they find they are beautiful – and so US zoos end up paying much more than the $300,000 annual rate that Australia and Thailand pay.
Now that doesn’t seem fair does it? US zoos are barely breaking even with such high costs and maintenance. Not only is the annual payment pocket breaking, the upkeep for their 100% vegetarian diet is very high. Pandas eat 84 pounds of bamboo daily which costs five times more than that of the next most expensive animal, an elephant. Luckily, in Atlanta 400 volunteers grow bamboo in their backyards to help out. These animals are on the “red list”, which means they are critically endangered. Many people in the world love Giant Pandas and there are even such things as “pandaholics”. Not only do pandaholics exist, but there are even live web cams people watch on zoo websites just to keep an eye on their favorite animals. With so much love going around for these docile animals there must to be a way to help keep them around for good.
Donate For Endangered Pandas
To help keep these endangered pandas around, you can make a donation to the World Wildlife Foundation.
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