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Giant panda

Giant panda
(Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
Grosser Panda.JPG
Giant panda at the Ocean Park Hong Kong
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Synapsida
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Caniformia
Family: Ursidae
Subfamily: Ailuropodinae
Genus: Ailuropoda
Species: A. melanoleuca
Binomial name
Ailuropoda melanoleuca
David, 1869
Subspecies
Mapa distribuicao Ailuropoda melanoleuca.png
Giant panda range
Giant panda
Panda (Chinese characters).svg
"Panda" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese 熊貓
Simplified Chinese 熊猫
Literal meaning "bear cat"
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 貓熊
Simplified Chinese 猫熊
Literal meaning "cat bear"

The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, literally "black and white cat-foot"; Chinese: 大熊猫; pinyin: dà xióng māo, literally "big bear cat"), also known as panda bear or simply panda, is a bear native to south central China. It is easily recognized by the large, distinctive black patches around its eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. The name "giant panda" is sometimes used to distinguish it from the unrelated red panda. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the giant panda's diet is over 99% bamboo. Giant pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity, they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared food.

The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in neighbouring Shaanxi and Gansu. As a result of farming, deforestation, and other development, the giant panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived.

The giant panda is a conservation reliant vulnerable species. A 2007 report showed 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. As of December 2014, 49 giant pandas lived in captivity outside China, living in 18 zoos in 13 different countries. Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000. Some reports also show that the number of giant pandas in the wild is on the rise. In March 2015, Mongabay stated that the wild giant panda population had increased by 268, or 16.8%, to 1,864 individuals. In 2016, the IUCN reclassified the species from "endangered" to "vulnerable" (it did not believe there was enough certainty yet to do so in 2008).


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Wikipedia

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