Panda Habitat of Giant Panda Bears in China Minshan Qionglai Liangshan Daxiangling Xiaoxiangling Qinling Mountains

 Panda habitat in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi province mainly between Qinling and Minshang mountains, habitat are Minshan Qionglai Liangshan Daxiangling Xiaoxiangling Qinling mountains. With 2 subspices of wild panda bears.

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China is the only natural home of the giant panda. This creature of fame and fable lives in the mountains of three adjoining provinces: Gansu and Shaanxi in the north and China’s biggest and most populous province, Sichuan, in the west of China.

Pandas live mainly bamboo forests high in the mountains of western China. Most of the wild population being distributed between the Qinling and Minshan Mountains.

 The panda's habitat surrounds the great Sichuan Plain. To the north are the Qinling Mountains and to the west are the Minshan, Qionglai, Liangshan, Daxiangling, and Xiaoxiangling Mountains.

Sichuan is by far the biggest of the three panda provinces, and the most interesting, geologically as well as biologically. It is a magical place, shrouded in mist and mystery. Many strange animals and plants are found only in Sichuan, evolutionary products of an area insulted from past geological and climatic upheavals by an almost complete ring of mountains. These mountains are ancient beyond telling. They have witnessed the rise and fall of many mountain ranges during geological time, including the world’s loftiest, the Himalayas. By Sichuan’s standards, the Himalayas are adolescents, created a mere fifty millions years ago when the Indian subcontinent collided with the East Asian landmass and cause the earth to buckle and rise up. Remaining largely unperturbed throughout this momentous event, and off from outside gene pools, Sichuan became the breeding ground of numerous species found nowhere else on earth.

During the last Ice Age, Sichuan’s ring of mountains also acted as a rampart that prevented the advance of the vast southbound glaciers. The land within was a welcome refuge against the ice. Many species that were once widespread across Eurasia thrived within the protective flanks of the mountains and mingled with an exciting array of endemic species. That much of this diversity survives today in China’s most populous province is due to the fact that the peaks are too cold and steep for agriculture.

It is the lowland’s rich red soil that has conferred the name of ‘Red Basin’ on this area of Sichuan. At one time the Red Basin was covered with broadleaf evergreen forest, but now, shorn of its woodland for more than 2000 years, it is China’s most productive agricultural area. Here, crops of tea, maize, sweet potatoes, tobacco, rice and sugar-cane are grown, the moderate climate and rich soil supporting up to three harvests in a single year. Many of hills are terraced and the structured luxuriance of these low-walled fields, some clinging to 45degree slopes, is a distinctive feature of the Red Basin.

The mountains of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi are Nature’s multi-storey hotels. They are divided into a number of vertical bands, or ‘floor’, of vegetation, different plants and animals being confined to specific altitudinal zones. There zones are primarily dependent on temperature, which decreases by 1degree for every 100m or so increase in altitude. Similar ‘floors’ are found a few storeys higher up a mountain the further south one goes. In general, the bands follow a definite zonal pattern, from woodland, to forest consisting almost totally of firs. Above these floors are alpine meadows. The highest peaks are those with a penthouse suite of permanent snow.

The giant panda was once widespread throughout southern and eastern China, as well as neighbouring Myanmar (Burma) and northern Vietnam.

Giant panda population mainly in Sichuan province in southwestern China, and also some pandas population in Shaanxi and Gansu in northwestern China. Basically, there are two subspecies of Giant panda - the Ailuropoda melanoleuca and Ailuropoda melanoleuca qinlingensis. While the former is typically black and white in color, the later is brown and white. Scientists found that the pandas in the Qinling Mountains are actually a different subspecies from other giant panda. Among the two, the Ailuropoda melanoleuca qinlingensis, aka the Qinling panda is endemic to the Qinling Mountains in Shaanxi province.

According to the 3rd wild panda survey,  275 wild pandas in Qinlin Mountain, amounting to 17.1%; 708 in Minshan, amounting to 44.4%;437 in Qionglai Mountain, amounting to 27.4%; 115 in Liangshan Mountain, amounting to 7.2%; 29 in Daxangliang, amounting to 1.8%, and 32 in Xiaoxianglin, amounting to 2.0%.

The habitat covers 352,914 hectares in Qinlin mountain, accounting for 15.3%; 960,313 hectares in Minshan , accounting for 41.7%; 610,122 hectares in QionglaiMountain, accounting for 26.5%; and 381,642 hectares in Lianngshan-XianglinMountain, accounting for 16.6%.


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