How many are left in the wild?
Panda population in the wild
How do you count pandas?
In fact, it requires a massive amount of effort and some not very pleasant activities...
Teams of volunteers trek out into steep, mountainous areas and look for signs of the panda. The thing they keep an eye out for: dung!
When they find it, they sift through the dung to pick out pieces of undigested bamboo.
The way they identify individual pandas is from their bite marks on this undigested bamboo... which are all different (a bit like fingerprints).
Remember that pandas are solitary and shy animals that usually roam remote and hard to reach areas in China's bamboo forests and mountains. Often, researchers have to walk for days and days, inspecting every meter of the forests for panda poop!
Each team of researchers is composed of about 40 people who are then divided into smaller sub-groups. A team can usually cover approximately 80 km2 each day.
Why don't you have more recent panda population data?
All our studies indicate that the recovery of the species is steady, specially thanks to the work of the Chinese government, local communities and WWF staff.
- More about the panda's conservation success