National Panda Day: fun facts, endangerment status & bamboo panda socks
Happy National Panda Day!
On March 16th, we celebrate these adorable and fascinating creatures.
Pandas are a cultural symbol of China and have captured people's hearts everywhere with their distinctive black-and-white coats and playful personalities.
However, these beautiful animals still face many challenges, including habitat loss and poaching. That's why, today, we take the chance to raise awareness about pandas!
Are giant pandas extinct?
Though, you might be old enough to remember various WWF (and other) campaigns advocating to protect the pandas and save them from extinction.
Not long ago, pandas were classed as 'critically endangered'.
Though, come 2023, the giant panda population is currently classified as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Can you guess how many pandas are in the wild? We'll show the answer to you at the end of this section!
We donate 10% of profits on both our panda socks (from our main and ribbed bamboo sock ranges) to Pandas International (PI), a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting and preserving giant pandas and their habitat. Their funds go towards recovering lost habitats, facilitating conservation research and collaborating with governing bodies in East Asia. Last year, we funded the planting of 310 square feet of bamboo with Pandas International!
Psst! Over 1,800 pandas remain in the wild 🐾 🐼
What's the biggest threat facing pandas?
Well, one of the biggest is definitely habitat loss. As human populations continue to grow, more and more land is cleared for agriculture, infrastructure, and other purposes. So, pandas lose their bamboo forests, but it's their only food source. In the past, the pandas that weren't directly affected by direct human destruction of their home, often died of starvation. Naturally, this combination causes huge survival issues. That's why we were so pleased to hear that donations from our socks served to restore the panda habitat, even if a little at a time!
Regardless, another huge challenge facing pandas is poaching. In the past, people hunted pandas for their fur, prized for their softness and warmth. Today, poaching is less of a problem, but pandas still face threats from illegal hunting and trafficking. To combat this, Pandas International is working to raise awareness about the importance of protecting pandas and to support law enforcement efforts to crack down on illegal activity.
Are there breeding programmes for pandas?
Pandas International supports the breeding and release of pandas into the wild.
We discovered in the mid-2010s that these schemes helped increase the wild panda population by about 17%. PI also work closely with the China Conservation and Research Center for the giant panda. Did you know this is the largest panda breeding and research centre in the world?
Panda Fun Facts
Bamboo diet only. Who knew pandas could eat up to 30 pounds of bamboo every day? (Source: National Geographic)
Camouflage. The distinctive black-and-white coat that giant pandas don like legends are actually a very intelligent biological cloaking mechanism! All jokes aside, their fur helps pandas blend into their natural habitat in the forests of China's Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces. (Source: National Geographic)
Giant pandas have an extra "thumb" called a sesamoid bone that helps them grasp bamboo stalks. (Source: Live Science)
Giant pandas are a cultural symbol of China and are often used as ambassadors of goodwill in diplomatic relations between China and other countries. (Source: National Geographic)
On National Panda Day, we celebrate these amazing creatures and the efforts to protect them. Pandas are not only important for their cultural significance, but also as an indicator of the health of the ecosystems they live in. By protecting pandas, we are also protecting the forests and other wildlife that share their habitat. So, let’s continue to support their conservation efforts of organisations like Pandas International and work together to ensure that pandas have a bright and sustainable future.
Happy National Panda Day!
Shop the ribbed range to save even more animals with us and donate to Pandas International, The Rainforest Trust UK and The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation!