Where do pandas live ?

Most of the remaining wild pandas live in the Minshan and Qinling mountains. And it is here that WWF has focussed its giant panda conservation work, supporting the Chinese government's efforts to conserve the species.

Since habitat loss is the most serious threat to the panda, establishing new reserves and extending existing ones are crucial to its survival. After a significant increase in recent years, China now boasts a network of 67 panda reserves, which safeguard more than 66% of the giant pandas in the wild and almost 54% of their existing habitat.

The Chinese government, in partnership with WWF, has also developed bamboo corridors to link isolated pockets of forest, allowing the pandas within them to move to new areas, find more food and meet more potential breeding mates.

Giant Panda resting in Bifengxia, China. © naturepl.com / Andy Rouse / WWF
Giant Panda eating bamboo shoot, Panda Breeding Centre, Wolong Panda Reserve, Sichuan Province, China. © Bernard De Wetter / WWF

What do pandas eat ?

The simple answers is: bamboo. Pandas must eat 12-38kg every day to meet their energy needs.

A panda's daily diet consists almost entirely of the leaves, stems and shoots of various bamboo species. But they do branch out, with about 1% of their diet comprising other plants and even meat. While they are almost entirely vegetarian, pandas will sometimes hunt for pikas and other small rodents.

Indeed, as members of the bear family, giant pandas possess the digestive system of a carnivore, although they have evolved to depend almost entirely on bamboo. This reliance on bamboo leaves them vulnerable to any loss of their habitat – currently the major threat to their survival.