Pandas Going Extinct?

By Matthew Cadogan, Julian Quintero and Denzel Eustache
FEB 1, 2019

Giant Pandas, which are easily recognized by their black and white color, might not be on the planet another day! In an article for Animalfactguide.com, P.A. Smith says that giant pandas weigh between 220-250 pounds and are native to southwest China.

P. A. Smith also states that giant panda bears adapt to their surroundings by using their wrist bone as a thumb to help grasp the bamboo that they consume. Since the bamboo that makes up most of the their diet doesn’t supply enough nutrients, the pandas need to consume approximately 20-40 pounds. of this plant per day. If this food source runs out, their chances of surviving are dramatically lessened because their diet isn’t flexible.

There are only about 2,000 giant panda bears inhabiting the world and that number is still decreasing. Pandas rarely reproduce, which explains the struggle to maintain their current population. Pandas are mainly becoming extinct due to the loss of habitat. The population in China, as large as it already is, continues to grow. The giant panda’s forest habitats are being reduced by deforestation, therefore, pushing the panda population into areas that aren’t suitable. According to Maria Cook, reporter for Sciencing.com, giant pandas are having a tough time adapting to new surroundings. When their homes get wiped out, they lose almost all of their food sources. Ms. Cook also explains that, “Relocating to another forest is often impossible, as forests today have become separated from one another, thanks to human cities and towns.”

Despite the fact that pandas are endangered, they continue to be hunted. The main reason why people are poaching pandas is for their fur, which has significant value on the black market. Even though poaching is illegal in China, people who are desperate for money still continue to break the law.

St. Thomas Aquinas teacher, Mrs. Christina Balsman told the Raider Review that China has ways to  help the pandas’ population grow through various breeding programs. There are also sanctuaries which protect pandas from further harm. Mrs. Balsman suggested that organizing fundraisers and raising awareness on the conservation of pandas would be a huge start in saving their species.

The panda population is slowly becoming completely depleted due to human destruction of nature and the fact that they are difficult to breed. It is sad to realize that giant pandas may be the next on a list of extinct species, so we must try to preserve these animals.