Panda Updates – Friday, May 22
Giant pandas have very few natural predators. As adults, they are very strong, and with a jaw pressure high enough to crush bamboo, they can pack a tough bite. For this reason, predators are more of a concern for giant panda cubs than they are for adults. Their most common predators are jackals and snow leopards, but yellow-throated martens are capable of taking very young cubs. If you have seen the DreamWorks movie “Kung Fu Panda,” then you know that the main character Po’s enemy is in fact a snow leopard. This is because a snow leopard would realistically be the most concerning predator for a giant panda, and the two animals have habitats that intersect with each other. With so few natural predators, it can be confusing as to why giant panda populations have decreased so drastically in the past. The main threat to giant pandas is human activity such as habitat fragmentation. Luckily, through collaborative research and conservation efforts at places like Zoo Atlanta, giant panda populations are increasing.
Keeper II, Mammals
(photo by Danica W.)
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