Scientific name: Ailuropoda melanaleuca Classification: Critically Endangered
No.’s left in the wild: Less than 1600, perhaps as low as 1000
Original habitat: Central-western and south-western China
Current habitat: Central China.
The Giant Panda is a medium sized bear native to central-western and south-western China. Its black and white fur coat is distinctive, with large, black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Measuring up to 1.5meters (4.9ft) in height and up to 150kilograms (330lb) in weight, it has a diet, which is almost exclusively bamboo – as much as 9 to 14kg (20 to 30pounds) per day.
Now only found in mountainous regions at the top of the Yangtze Basin, the Giant Panda population has declined to a mere fraction due to deforestation, farming, global warming, poaching, hunting and other activities related to mankind.
Giant Pandas also live in reserves maintained by the Chinese government, but even with this support, numbers in the wild are estimated to be no more than 1600.