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INTRODUCTION

Hello, welcome to our Wikispace. On this page you will learn about pandas. The two main types of pandas that we will be focusing on are red and giant pandas, which is the most common type of panda. Also, you will learn about its habitat, dangers, eating habits, appearance, and, most importantly, how you can help save this endangered species. As our friend Amanda the Panda said, we hope you enjoy this panda experience.

WHY DID WE CHOOSE PANDAS?

When we first heard about this project, we knew we wanted to help an endangered species. Claire mentioned that she went to the Memphis Zoo and saw the most beautiful creatures gently munching on its scrumptious "fruitsicle". It was Amanda the Panda! We decided that we would help this endangered species by spreading knowledge. Hopefully you will find this topic as pandalicious as we do.


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A lovely giant panda eating its fruitsicle.



PANDA HABITAT

A panda's environment is very different from other animals. Most pandas live in south central China. They thrive in cold places, such as foggy bamboo forests. Small isolated areas are where you are most likely to spot these incredible creatures. Pandas can also be found in high altitudes. This includes the famous Himalaya Mountains, where you can find our friend, Amanda the Panda.




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In the next paragraph, you will learn about the dangers to pandas. Habitat loss is one of them. That small dark orange area is all the panda's have left. :(





DANGERS TO PANDAS

As mentioned before, the panda is an endangered species. In fact, fewer than 2,000 still live in the wild. This is due to farming, logging, and building that humans do in their habitat. Also, major disasters like earthquakes have wiped out much of the panda population. One of the disasters took place in China, May 2008 causing a mudslide in the panda habitat, destroying trees and caves, and burying their food source, bamboo. Another main danger is their predators. Leopards, dogs, and human hunters threaten to make the pandas go extinct.



PANDA EATING HABITS

Pandas eat a lot of food! In fact, the average giant panda eats approximately eighty-four pounds of bamboo on a daily basis. This diet is low in protein, but that does not have a negative affect on the pandas. Although bamboo is their favorite food, the pandas also enjoy eating plants and fish. On occasion, they will also eat rodents and other small animals. However, pandas prefer to eat plants over any meat.


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A panda's favorite food- bamboo!
























PANDA APPEARANCE & LIFESTYLE

There are two major types of pandas. There is the giant panda (the most common type of panda) and the red panda. Giant pandas are black and white, and super fuzzy! Sometiems they can grow so much, that they can weigh up to 200 pounds! The other (and less known) type of panda is the red panda. The red panda is fox like and about the size of a raccoon. They can weigh up to 12 pounds and have white ears and red-ringed tails. Red pandas have dense fur and a cloak-like tail. Both types of pandas have six fingers, including one opposable thumb-like finger. They also eat bamboo and tender shoots and leaves. Pandas are the only bears that do not hibernate. Pandas also live alone for much of their life. To see the appearance of pandas in your own eyes, please view the following pictures:


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A small baby giant panda gently climbing up a tree.
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A beautiful red panda calmly prancing through its habitat.

















HOW CAN YOU HELP SAVE THE PANDAS?

Pandas are struggling to survive in their natural habitat. That's why they are high up on the endangered species list. We have to do everything we can to help them. Public education can really help. Spreading the word about how pandas are essential to our world's natrual ecosystem will really help raise awareness to why we should help their species come back and raise in numbers concerning their population. There are various organizations that help support this cause, such as Panda International and Red Panda Network. Along these lines, there are rescue teams that are able to work with the pandas and help them out. They keep them warm (in an icubator), feed them, and check on their size/weight to make sure they stay healthy and fit. Some scientists even go to the extremes for taking care of theses pandas. They don't want the pandas to have to much contact with the pandas because when they finally release them into the wild, the scientists don't want them to rely on humans. How do they do that? They actually dress up in panda costumes while working with the pandas. To learn more about this topic, feel free to follow the link and watch the news program on it below:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/researchers-dress-bears-pandas-15039625





















WORKS CITED

Rene Embersol, Science World (4-4-11 Vol. 67), "Plight of the Panda"

Crispin Boyer, National Geographic Kids (June/July 2009), "Hope for the Red Panda"

UPI, "Panda Environment"

"Giant Panda" (no author listed)

"Giant Pandas," nationalzoo.com