Why Are Pandas Endangered? - Lesson for Kids Video

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  • 0:04 Pandas at a Glance
  • 1:08 Pregnancy Issues
  • 1:46 Panda Diet
  • 2:23 Loss of Habitat
  • 2:54 Hunters
  • 3:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

You might know that pandas have been on the endangered species list for many years, but do you know why? Come and learn about some of these specific reasons in this lesson, as well as some general facts about panda bears.

Pandas at a Glance

Pandas have been on this Earth for millions of years, and they've developed into one of the most beloved members of the bear family. Unfortunately, this well-loved bear is also the rarest member of the bear family, and their numbers have been dangerously low since 1980. As of 2002, there was a total panda population of 1,600 living in the wild, particularly in the mountains of western China. This low population makes it a very real possibility that these bears will eventually become extinct.

In addition to the 1,600 wild pandas, there are about 100 pandas living in zoos around the world. Zoologists work to keep the adult pandas safe and keep the baby pandas healthy. Their goal is to increase the population of pandas to 5,000 by 2025. There are about 50 panda reserves in China that help to protect the pandas, as well.

The pandas have been endangered for years, and this did not just happen out of the blue. There are several specific causes of their endangerment, including pregnancy issues, diet, habitat loss, and hunters.

Pregnancy Issues

There are some animals that are able to reproduce, or have babies, at a quick rate. This is not the case for pandas, as they can only get pregnant once a year. Sometimes mama pandas have twins, but otherwise they only have one baby panda at a time. At this rate, pandas are not able to reproduce fast enough to maintain their population. In other words, pandas are dying faster than they're being born, so the population is decreasing.

A baby panda

Also, female pandas are only able to get pregnant once a year for a very brief period of time. Therefore, if they do not get pregnant during the 24-hour window, it's unlikely that they will have a baby.

Panda Diet

A panda snacking on bamboo

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