The giant panda, a bear with the meaning of “cat foot, black and white”. They are very easy to spot out because of their distinct colors of white, with black patches along their bodies. They are definitely not to be confused with the red panda, a smaller type of animal with a red brown shade of fur. These giant bears are under strict conservation since their habitat is being destroy by people’s use of constructing new buildings and homes around their once lush bamboo forests.
The changes of the climate effect them well, since it effects their main food source, which is bamboo. They are very dependant on this and it has always been the main staple in a giant panda’s diet. Bamboos let go of seeds in a wide spread area, which makes them flower in different places, this is hard though since much wide space of the bamboo forests had been taken up. Bamboo is getting more and more scarce for the panda to feed upon. This is tough on the panda, who eats about twenty pounds of bamboo a day!
How long has this been taking in effect? Well, ever since the 1960’s, pandas were forging their way through their own forests for bamboo, in fact they were rare through out the 1970’s and 80’s because of the low stock. Since 1990, they have become officially endangered. Luckily, the giant panda does not only eat bamboo, they also have begun to feed upon new things ever since the bamboo’s disappearance.
Panda’s find bee nests and scrounge around for honey as well, since it has a good protein make up. They also go by rivers and wait for fish to come up, another good source of protein for them when bamboo is low. Apples and oranges are a good source of vitamin C for the panda, and they try to find these daily. Another fact is that the panda is actually considered a carnivore but due to their inability to digest cellulose effectively, they rely on bamboo.
When food is scarce, they eat the bulbs of such plants as crocus and even shrub leaves. Grasses are another replacement and they will sit down next to a grassy patch and munch on it for a good hour or so. It is especially rare to see them feed on other animals other than fish, but they will eat the occasional small rodent or two. Giant panda’s diets are very unique and not as diverse as many animals around the world, its a good thing to always note that 99% of their diet is truly bamboo.