China’s Giant Pandas

China’s Giant Pandas

Giant pandas are one of the rarest species on the planet. Once ranging for thousands of kilometers, fewer than 1,850 wild pandas remain today.


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Biology, Ecology, Geography

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Nat Geo WILD

Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are one of the rarest animals on Earth. With a species range once extending thousands of kilometers, today they are confined to a few pockets of bamboo forest. Our video, part of Nat Geo WILD’s “Destination Wild” series, complements our map of the giant panda’s current and historic ranges, and an outline of the categories and criteria of endangered species. Use these resources to help answer questions in the Questions tab. Then, read some Fast Facts about these “shy, elusive, and gentle” creatures.

Fast Fact

Bamboo leaves and shoots (new growths) make up 99% of a panda’s diet.

Fast Fact

Pandas are a species of bear. They are most closely related to the spectacled bear of South America.

Fast Fact

Pandas are omnivores. Besides bamboo, they will eat grasses, fish, eggs, and grubs (worms and insects). In captivity, pandas will also eat honey, fruit, and specially made “panda chow.”

Fast Fact

Pandas do not live in dens or other permanent homes. They sleep and raise their cubs under trees, stumps, or cliffs.

Fast Fact

Unlike many bears, pandas do not hibernate. During the cold season, they simply migrate to warmer territory.

Media Credits

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National Geographic Society
Melissa MacPhee, National Geographic Society
Jessica Shea, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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