Sichuan’s giant panda population is holding up, with help.
The Pygmy Giant Panda lived around 2 million years ago. Ancestors of the Giant Panda were widely distributed all over much of Eastern and Southern China as far as Beijing. Giant Pandas have also been found in Northern Myanmar (Burma) and Northern Vietnam, parts of which are still panda territory today. Unlike the Giant Panda today, the ancestral pandas were not specialized in the same diet as.
On average a panda living in the wild can live around 20 years and giant panda in captivity lives on average for between 25 - 35 years. A female panda called “Jia Jia” lived in Hong Kong Ocean Park was the oldest panda bear ever in captivity, born in 1978 and died at an age of 38 (more than 100 years old in human terms) on October 16, 2016.
Hunting further reduced the Giant Panda's already limited population and increased dramatically upon discovery of Giant Pandas in Baoxing, leading to an influx of foreign hunters who hunted unscrupulously in China. Faced with the temptation of extravagant profits, less-reputable individuals took the risks despite national conservation laws, and posed a direct threat the survival of the giant.
The giant panda population has been decimated over the past 2,000 years by hunting and habitat destruction. In the years since 1987, they have lost more than 30% of their habitat. Giant pandas are one of the rarest mammals in the world, with current estimates of their population size at about 1,000 individuals (150 in captivity). Today human pressure on giant panda populations has diminished.
By the late 1990s, the captive panda population included more captive-born individuals than those born in the wild. By 2012, there were 341 giant pandas in captive breeding programs.
A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China and one in the U.S. has found that efforts to stabilize giant panda populations in the face of global warming have been successful. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes their study of climate change in the region where most of China's pandas live, and panda census data collected.
Pandas under pressure. A new study of historic satellite data reveals that pandas have less habitat than when they were first listed endangered 30 years ago, with scattered populations holding.