When it comes to stuffed animals, the giant stuffed panda is one very popular choice. As a whole, panda’s are a beloved bear the world over and because of that, it’s no surprise that a giant stuffed panda would be as sought after as it is.
Chengdu, China is the hometown of the giant panda. It’s civilized history is more than 4,500 years old and its city history more than 3,000 years. Panda conservation in China is of the highest priority so as to ensure the species doesn’t become extinct. And, that’s no easy feat given panda’s are biologically unique next to all rare and protected animals in the world. The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) was the first non-government organization to be invited by the Chinese government to launch several key initiates where panda’s were concerned, the first being Giant Panda Protection, which began on September 23, 1979.
Within Chengdu, panda’s live in Shaanxi, Gansu, and Sichuan provinces where habitats have become fragmented into more than 20 patches, each one isolated from the next. Pairs of breeding panda’s need a minimum of 18.6 miles for support which means they will use the entire area to roam and eat. Since much of the lower parts of land in the region have been claimed for agriculture, it has left the panda’s habitat with just 4,593 feet of space above the lower region in which to live. In addition, much of the mountainous region that was once rich with bamboo – the primary diet of the panda – has been destroyed by logging. Between 1974 and 1989, Sichuan Province shrunk 50% percent. Thankfully, in 1198, the Chinese government banned logging in the region.
With the fragmentation taking place within their habitat, panda’s are unable to migrate giving them even less flexibility in terms of finding new feeding areas during periods when bamboo dies off. Isolated populations also face the threat of in-breeding which can lead to reproductive problems as cubs grow older and are ready to mate, and make cubs more susceptible to disease and changes in the environment.
The WWF has been responsible for training some 300 panda reserve staff as well as local government officials in nature reserve management, anti-poaching patrol, wildlife monitoring, and all important community based conservation efforts in Sichuan and Gansu, as well as in Shaanxi.
The giant stuffed panda can be purchased in a number of places and are in practically limitless supply on the Internet. While panda’s have a real uphill battle on their hands to survive, luckily for us, the giant stuffed panda isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.