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Press Release 12-211
Climate Change Threatens Giant Pandas' Bamboo Buffet--and Survival

China's endangered wild pandas may need new dinner reservations--and quickly, based on models that indicate climate change may kill off swaths of bamboo that pandas need to survive

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Photo of a researcher taking notes next to a wild Qinling panda.

This panda is one of about 275 wild Qinling pandas that live in the study region. Their isolation has resulted in genetic variation from other giant pandas. Some of these pandas, like the one shown here, are brownish.

Credit: Yange Yong


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Close-up photo of bamboo leaves in western China.

Because bamboo is very low in nutrients, wild pandas eat as much as 84 pounds of bamboo daily, and spend at least 12 hours per day eating bamboo. A wild panda may also occasionally eat other grasses and small rodents or musk deer fawns.

Credit: Andrés Viña, Michigan State University Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability


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Image of bamboo trees in western China.

A bamboo trove in western China.

Credit: Andrés Viña, Michigan State University Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability


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