We are middle school students from a suburban middle school in Columbus, Ohio. For the topic of this blog we have decided and picked an environmental issue that has been caused by negative human interaction. We are excited that you have taken this opportunity to read out blog!
There is an estimated 200 Giant Pandas in captivity and 1,600 in the wild. This is mostly because of the people cutting down their food and habitats, and in the past, before the law, people poached the Giant panda for fur. That caused the Giant Panda population to become smaller and smaller. The question we are investigating is How Can Humans Help Prevent The Extinction of the Giant Panda?
One of the main reasons the giant panda is endangered is because humans are cutting down what they need to survive. That includes bamboo, which is 99% of their diet source. The greatest threat is that the area they live in is becoming smaller and more fragmented because of human activities like logging, expansion 0f farming, mining, and road building. Since the panda has been titled with extinction humans have cut down on deforestation.
An issue that has been causing extinction of the giant panda is humans poaching it. People poach these animals to showcase their fur in exhibits in zoos or sell them illegally. Another reason pandas are dying out is that hunters leave their traps out for hunting but the pandas get stuck. Even if they struggle out it would still face severe permanent injuries. Now there are enforced laws about poaching, but few still do it.
Another issue with the Giant Panda survival is that they are very picky about choosing their mates. It is an issue because there are little of them to start with and they live in isolated places. Even if a panda gets pregnant a few times over a two year period, only one might survive. It is a good thing that they are in captive because they are safe and have good care. But they have an even less chance of reproducing when they are in captivity.
Bamboo flowering is part of the natural life cycle to produce seeds. For the bamboo that the panda wants to eat, it flowers every 30-80 days. The only bad thing is that after flowering, the bamboo dies. If there isn’t any other species of bamboo the pandas will eat, they eat in the same area or a nearby area and might starve. That is another reason the Giant Panda is facing extinction. Also, if the bamboo dies off, it can take another 10 years to grow back.
Even though the Giant Panda is endangered, people are still trying to help. Many people have been creating programs or organizations in partnership with zoos to protect them. They are also raising money for research. Another thing is they are setting up preserves for them to live in. A common thing that people are doing that helps a lot but doesn’t require to much work is donating money. They can donate money to zoos or organizations, that can help preserve the Giant Panda.
We have learned the many ways humans affect the extinction of the giant panda. Habitat loss, food loss, and low reproductivity are the main reasons. Humans have been trying to help this issue in many ways, and that is very good. There are many ways you can help too. The easiest way to interact would be to donate to an organization helping pandas. The issue may not be fixed yet, but if everybody helps try to prevent the extinction of the Giant Panda, it has way better of a chance to survive.
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