Giant panda


The giant panda is perhaps the most powerful symbol in the world when it comes to species conservation. For WWF, panda has a special significance since it has been the organization's symbol since 1961 when WWF was formed. In China, it is a national treasure. It's also the first species that WWF protected in China when being invited by Chinese government to work in China.

There are 3 million ha of giant panda habitat among 5 isolated mountain pitches in China. A 2004 survey found that there are 1600 giant pandas in the wild, yet they are fragmented to more than 18 small populations. Together with Chinese government, WWF China has been promoting a giant panda protection network. So far, the network has already included 62 nature reserves, and a couple of forest farms, migration corridors, and sustainably managed forests. It also covers 57 per cent of giant panda habitat and 71 per cent of its population in the wild.
© WWF-CANON / Bernard De Wetter
An adult panda can weigh about 100-150kg and grow up to 150cm.
© WWF-CANON / Bernard De Wetter

WWF China's work to support panda protection

  • Giant Panda Conservation Network for 3 Million Hectares of Habitat
  • Giant Panda Friendly Sustainable Forest Management for 7 Critical Forests
  • Community Co-management Forests
  • High Conservation Value Forest
  • Payment for Ecological Services
  • Models for Sustainable Livelihoods
  • Capacity Building on Alternative Livelihoods and Energy
  • Community Revolving Fund Initiative
  • Sustainable Management of Non-Timber Forest Products and Plants used in Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Green Product Certification and Marketing
  • Eco-tourism
  • Capacity Building for NGOs
  • Human-wildlife Conflict Management


 WWF has following six goals by 2015:

  • By 2015, the negative impacts of infrastructures on giant panda and its habitats are identified and mitigation solutions are demonstrated in pilot sites.
  • By 2015, sustainable tourism planning and practices are demonstrated and replicated in at least two panda landscapes.
  • By 2015, the effective management in nature reserves is enhanced compared to baseline of 2010.
  • By 2015, at least 100,000 ha (70,000 in Minshan, 30,000 in Qinling) of high conservation value forests are identified and relevant measures taken to demonstration sites.
  • By 2015, post-quake management is enhanced with demonstration in 3-5 selected heavily quake-affected nature reserves.
  • By 2015, possible impacts of climate change on panda habitats are assessed and adaptation strategies are developed and tested in one or two panda landscapes.

In the long run, WWF has a vision that by 2030, a viable giant panda population will live in the well-managed forests of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, which in turn will provide ecological services to the people living further downstream.

Quick Facts

    • In 2004, a survey counted 1,600 pandas in the wild.
    • An adult panda can weigh about 100-150kg and grow up to 150cm.
    • Pandas have the digestive system of a carnivore, but they have adapted to a vegetarian diet of bamboos.
    • A panda may eat 12-38kg of bamboo a day.
    • The panda cub is 1/900th the size of its mother, one of the smallest newborn mammals relative to its mother's size.
    • Pandas are good tree climbers.
    • When breeding, pandas require at least 30km² to support them over the short term.

Main Threats

    • Road constructions
      Dam and hydropower facilities
      Mass tourism
      Unsustainable forest practices
      Climate change and extreme natural disasters