Animal: Giant Panda Bear
Research Location: China
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Why This Animal?

I chose the Giant Panda Bear for my animal. They are very unique and fun animals. They are very soft, furry and cute which is an attraction to me. In there childhood they are very energetic. They play a lot and are clumsy too. I connect to that because I am clumsy but I am full of energy a lot. As they become older they sleep a lot, they are lazy and eat most of the day. I also like to just sit back and sleep a lot just like pandas. I also like them because they like to climb and they are very good at it. Pandas also can swim to get away from predators. How that connects to why I chose the animal is because I like to swim. They are endangered which is sad because they are a symbol for WWF and many other places such as China. I have seen videos of pandas and also in real life at zoos. They have a good character there behaviors are funny. I think being funny is a good characteristic even for an animal. This is why I have chosen the Giant Panda Bear.


Research Location:

Giant Panda bears live in China. They live in the mountain ranges there, which are also considered broadleaf and coniferous forest. With the huge, beautiful, mountains there are many tall, thin, trees to climb for the amazing pandas and delicious plants for them to eat. They eat bamboo for the main source of food. This is an amazing place for the Giant Pandas because they need a lot of area to roam and be free and a big source of bamboo since that is about all they eat. This area is perfect for the panda because there fur keeps them warm in the winter, there big, rough paws help them dig out the plants they need from the ground. This is why the Giant Panda is designed to live in this area. There are many kinds of unique, great bamboo shoots that they look for in the mountains. They get a lot of their water from bamboo but also need more water so they drink from rivers or melting snow on the tall, big mountains. This area gets around 20 to 60 inches of rain a year. The area is not that big of a range but the lazy Giant Pandas don't roam much, there day consists of sleeping and eating. When you get to the broadleaf forest area there is a canopy of trees along with mountain ranges. There are some animals around this area too like small mammals like squirrels and small rodents; there are red pandas, fish, birds, insects, some black bears, and leopards which are the danger to the Giant Panda Bears. There are many green plants in this region such as the bamboo that pandas eat. They have humid and moist temperature in there biome. There winters can get very cold up in the mountain ranges, down to -4 to -14 degrees, and get pretty cold but, the pandas thick, soft fur keeps them warm. In the summer the temperatures are humid but can get pretty nice out around 70 degrees at the highest. This area gets a ton of rain; they get an average of 42.5 inches per year! This is good because there needs to be water for the Giant Pandas to drink and to help keep the plants and bamboo healthy. The Giant Panda really depends on its biome because they need bamboo because that is its main source of food. The clumsy, soft, fuzzy pandas are not afraid of the cold or the moist weather. Pandas do not hibernate in the winter. I think the area my pandas roam is a good place because there are a lot of plants and small animals which are what their diet consist of. They also have some rain so they can get there water source. Giant Pandas aren't afraid of moist or cold weather which is why this is a good place for them. Giant Pandas are becoming extinct as you can see from the map they used to roam a wide area but have gotten a lot smaller. I think they stuck by the mountains the most because there are places to climb and not many animals to cause danger to them.



Wildlife Research Technique:

I chose to do the radio telemetry technique. I chose this because now I can track the panda to observe more about how it behaves. I thought this was the best choice because now you can see where the pandas at and if it is moving or sleeping. These are my results.

Notes on Location:


Observation Journal -Giant Pandas Day 1: I can’t believe I am finally here. I am in the forest looking for Giant Pandas in China. My group of researches decided to walk in the forest on foot. When we got there it was raining and the temperature was about 70 degrees. There were many trees and mountains surrounding us. The ground was muddy and a little bit wet from the rain and there were some other plants around too. We are guessing we will find pandas in a small group or alone on the ground by bamboos. We found an area with a lot of bamboo so we are guessing we will find some pandas close by. Then we saw two big, furry, adorable pandas eating some bamboo. They were lazy and just sitting around eating. The pandas were aware of us around them and seemed kind of worried. After a while of them eating bamboo they went by the river to take a drink. It was getting late and they were just sleeping and lying around so we decided to wrap it up and call it a day. We were excited to come back tomorrow and see more observations of the Giant Pandas.
Day 2:
Today we are expecting to find more pandas since we know where most of the bamboo is. We see the beautiful mountains nearby and were in the forest the temperature is around 65 degrees, it's a little rainier today. We went to the same spot we came to yesterday and found five pandas today! It was very exciting to see them lying around eating bamboo. We saw one take some bamboo out of another pandas hand and run away with it. This panda seemed younger than the rest because it was full of energy and playful. When there was an animal coming around they seemed kind of nervous and scared. Then when the animal got closer they knew it was a predator so they ran up a tree for safety. Luckily the predator, which we weren't for sure, but guessing, was some sort of cat, left the area. The pandas went back to eating and taking drinks by the river.

Day 3:

Today the weather was not rainy, the temperature was 70 degrees and pretty sunny. We were looking for relationships the pandas have together today. We want to know if they get along, if they share food, if they fight or live in large or small groups. When we got to the area of the bamboo and where we saw the pandas yesterday at first we didn’t see any but then we saw a few eating bamboo by a tree. We were saddened today when we say an example of a parasitic relationship. A large bird swooped down between the trees and snatched up a baby panda! It was very upsetting when we saw that. We have to be more careful so we can keep the Giant Pandas in a safe habitat. Today we saw a group of playful cubs tackling each other and sometimes hitting each other or taking each other’s food. I think that made the adult pandas more cheerful so today they were more interactive with each other. They ate a lot and moved closer to the mountains to get some water down over there. They seemed like there energetic day wore them out so some climbed trees and some slept on the ground nearby. We decided to call it a day.


Food web:

Lydia_Hassman_Food_web.JPG

S.C.= Secondary Consumer
T.C.=Tertiary Consumer
P.C.= Primary Consumer

Using the Research:


Fellow Researcher:
Matthew Durnin was a biologist on the team in the Wolong Natural Reserve in the 1990’s. In the ten years Matthew was researching he only saw one giant panda in the wild. He only saw it quickly while it moved away on a high peak. He would look for the remaining of bamboo meals and poop to find giant pandas. One day someone in Matthews team found a panda sleeping in the wild and got a picture of it! They got to watch the panda for around six minutes before it woke up and ran away. The workers at Wolong were very happy, energetic people even though they got paid very little. He learned so much from them at his time there. Matthew Durnin and I are similar because we care about giant pandas and will try to do everything we can to make them stay alive.


Resources:
Bies, L. 2002. "Ailuropoda melanoleuca" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed February 24, 2012 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ailuropoda_melanoleuca.html
"Giant Panda." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Jan.-Feb. 2012. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_panda>.
"Giant Pandas." National Geographic. National Geographic. Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/creaturefeature/panda/>.
"Giant Panda Facts." Bear! Polar Bears, Panda, Koala, Black, Grizzly, Red, Brown, & More! Web. 24 Feb. 2012. <http://www.bearlife.org/giant-panda-facts.html>.

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