Recently we discovered an article entitled “Bamboozled: Humans Should Stop Meddling With Pandas and Let Them Die” (link below) which attempts to debate the worth of pandas and their conservation.
Needless to say, we at Pandomu were stirred by the editorial and wanted a take the chance to respond to specific issues and make some points that we feel weren’t properly addressed in the original piece.
The giant panda, also known as the panda bear or panda, is a bear that is native to south-central China. It is recognized easily by its distinctive black and white patches, with the black over its eye, ears, arm, and legs and sometimes other areas of its body. Although they once roamed over a large portion of Asia and their fossils have also been found in Europe. They are now only found in small pockets of mountain habitats in central China. Scientists have currently estimated the population of wild Giant Pandas in 1984, which makes Pandas a seriously endangered species. There are approximately 400 other pandas held in captivity in zoos, wildlife parks, and panda centers. It has been suggested by two of the authors that Pandas aren’t worth our time and shouldn’t be conserved and just left to die out, but there are so many reasons why we should keep the species alive and why pandas deserve our love.
They are the oldest species of bears in existence
Pandas are often referred to as a “living fossil,” as the Giant Panda is believed to have existed since the Pleistocene age, approximately 3 million years ago. After years of examination and debate, scientists have been able to determine by DNA testing that the Giant Panda is indeed a member of the bear family. Not only are Giant Pandas members of the bear family but DNA testing has also confirmed that they are the oldest species of the Ursidae family.
However, they were once thought they might be of the raccoon family. Pandas baffle scientists due to their surprising genetic makeup and behaviors. They are herbivores and tend to be solitary which is unlike any other bear. They share a similar habitat and a large wrist bone that functions like a thumb with Red Pandas but are unlike them in almost every other way. Even with all the new knowledge that scientists now possess, they are still baffled about how little we actually do know about this fascinating and loveable species.
There is still so much research that needs to be done to understand Pandas better and scientists could learn so much from discovering and studying this information. It could bring knowledge of other similar species and bring new light to what we believe to be true about the Panda.
Help With Animal Conservation
Not only are pandas the most beloved symbol of the endangered species and wildlife conservation movement, Giant pandas help to keep their mountain forests healthy by spreading seeds in their droppings, which helps vegetation to thrive.
The panda’s forest environment is also important for locals. Giant pandas reside in the mountain areas of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, whose river basins are the economic heart of China, home to over half a billion people. People from all over the world come to visit these areas in hopes of a glimpse of a Panda, which means great tourism for the locals.
By protecting pandas we’re also helping conserve the wider environment, which is great for the people and wildlife that depend on it.
A huge part of China’s cultural heritage and modern society
The giant Panda is the best-known and most loved animal in China. They are part of China’s national heritage and they are symbols of peace and good luck. Chinese myths tell tales of pandas as invincible beasts of the bamboo forests while in modern-day China the obsession with Pandas continues to grow with more toys, clothing, and merchandise every year. China and the entire world would experience a profound tragedy if panda bears were driven extinct. Future generations would only hear about the panda bear in the past tense, and as the biggest symbol of the animal conservation movement, it would be a devastating blow to conversation efforts and hope.
All pandas that are still alive come from China. All other pandas found in different parts of the world having been bought or loaned from China. China has made significant and deliberate efforts to help protect giant pandas from extinction and this should be recognized and congratulated instead of ignored.