THE GIANT PANDA: ENDANGERED SPECIES PROJECT 09 http://4.bp.blogspot.comTess Curran
June 11th 2009
Bear? Or Red Panda?Scientist who discovered pandas, Pere David Armand believed the panda to be a bear, but others took a look, and the question began(Source 1)http://www.icis.com/blogs/asian-chemical-connections/black-bear.jpghttp://tigertailfoods.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/red_panda_close_up.jpg
FINAL DECISION, DEBATE ONGOINGKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: MammaliaOrder: CarnivoraFamily: UrsidaeGenus: AiluropodaSpecies: A. Melanoleuca (Source 5)
WEIGHT AND STATSWWF, http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/photography/index.html63-75 longMales are 187-275 pounds, Females 154-220 pounds (Source 8)Delayed Implantation (Source 1)Cubs move at 6 months, leave mother at 18 months (Source 8)http://www.beijingholidays.net/
DIET99% is bamboo (Source 12)Originally ate meat- 33 ft long intestines v. 160 ft longAs a result, 20-30% of nutrients in bamboo is absorbed, so pandas must spend 14 hours a day eating (Source 7)Can sometimes eat- Birds, rodents, carrion meat (Source 2)-Bark, wild parsnips, willow leaves, irises (Source 1)
ADAPTATIONSLarge, flat teeth for grinding bambooExtra molar, rounded cheek bonesSolid lining extending through mouth, esophagus, and stomach (Source 4)Developed thumb (extended wrist bone) Source 2Sharp claws, flexible- back paws point inward, making it slow but adept climber (Source 1)
HABITATForests of central china (Source 9)Must include:-Thick bushes for shelter-Hollow fir trees for dens -Close to water- will ignore mile away (Source 1)Solitary animals- saves energy for foraging Will go to lower elevations in winter for warmer climate (Source 8)
INTERACTIONSeek each other out in the mating season, occasionally throughout the year. Share forests with these animals: (Source 3) http://www.freewebs.com/iansferret/W1.JPG http://bss.sfsu.edu/holzman/courses http://www.breederretriever.com/blog http://www.operationcharm.org/ http://www.quantum-conservation.org/
DECREASES IN POPULATION
WHY?? MAIN POINTSChinas large population forces peasants into higher elevations. (Source 8) Deforestation and logging. (Source 11)Fragmentation leads to inbreeding and less mating (Source 8).Bamboo dies every 40-80 yrs. 10% of the population died in 1970s (Source 11).
Pandas give birth to only one cub every other year (Source 5). Breeding in captivitiy is difficult- pandas are prone to mental problems. (Source 5) Female ovulation only 1-2 days each year. Females are picky with whom they mate (source 5). Artificial insemination is difficult- Zookeepers are reluctant to loan pandas out from zoos for research (Source 1).http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/PEK282838.htm
Hunting- one pelt can go for a peasants entire life savings.140 illegal skins were found in past years- almost 10% (source 8).
Natural disasters- Biologists are still not sure about direct impact, butEarthquake May 12,2006 destroyed 8% of the habitat and the Wolong Nature Reserve (source 10).
Parasites can prevent panda growth and prevent from breeding (Source 1).
Nature reserves weren't managed properly.Money shortages and under training. (Source 6).
1983-87, 30 panda cubs were taken from the wild (Source 6).
WWF, http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/photography/index.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive