March 16th

National Panda Day -

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Every year on March 16th, we honor the beauty and uniqueness of pandas by celebrating National Panda Day. This worldwide commemorations invites panda lovers to participate in actions that ensure their survival. It’s a day filled with learning about these wonderful creatures and emphasizing the critical role each of us plays in preserving their existence and natural surroundings.

Our mission on National Panda Day is to protect and promote these gentle beings for future generations.

History of National Panda Day

Conservation of pandas is essential taking into consideration their endangered status, primarily due to habitat loss and low birth rates. Pandas, especially the giant pandas are primarily found in the mountainous regions of China, but deforestation and farming have restricted them to a few isolated areas, leading to a significant reduction in their population.

Conservation efforts include the establishment of panda reserves in China and stringent laws against hunting these species. Other initiatives like captive breeding, semi-natural reserves, and translocation are also implemented to increase their numbers. With concerted global efforts and initiatives, the population of giant pandas has seen a small, yet significant improvement, leading to their reclassification from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Initially, National Panda Day was merely observed by smaller groups and causes that championed animal welfare, with the primary aim of raising awareness. However, as time passed, this day began to gain more traction and recognition. Esteemed environmental and conservation organizations started commemorating this day, thereby attracting larger audiences at zoos and conservation parks, and stirring digital awareness campaigns.

Over time, National Panda Day has evolved into a day of education, awareness, and advocacy. It includes various activities from donating to conservation charities in a symbolic “adoption” of a panda to engaging in educational events at zoos and nature reserves.

National Panda Day Timeline

Earliest Ancestors of Pandas

The earliest ancestor of the Panda, the Ailurarctos, lived in bamboo forests in what is now China.

Bamboo Diet Development

Pandas develop a taste for bamboo. Pandas evolved to grow a ‘pseudo thumb’, a flexible wrist bone, which helped them hold bamboo while eating.

Introduction to The Western World

French missionary Armand David discovered a panda and described it to the Western world. He sent the skin of a Panda to the Museum of Natural History in Paris.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was established and chose the panda as its logo due to its recognition value and symbolic nature.

Panda Diplomacy

China began presenting pandas as diplomatic gifts to other countries; this was famously known as 'Panda Diplomacy'.

Pandas - Endangered Species

Pandas were listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Pandas - Vulnerable Species

Pandas were removed from the endangered species list, but remain vulnerable, according to the IUCN.

Ideas to Celebrate National Panda Day

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Panda-themed Party

Organize a panda-themed party, where you invite your friends and family. Decorate the space with panda decorations and organize panda-related activities. You can have a panda costume contest or a panda face painting session.

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Visit a Zoo

Plan a visit to the local zoo or an animal sanctuary that houses pandas. This day can serve as a great opportunity to learn more about pandas and their role in the ecosystem.

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Charitable Donations

Make a charitable donation to organizations that work towards the conservation and protection of pandas. This action will not only mark the day but also contribute to a positive cause.

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Panda Movie Marathon

Watch panda-themed films such as Kung Fu Panda, or documentaries about pandas. This serves as a fun and educational activity.

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Adopt a Panda

Many organizations offer adoption programs where your funds directly support the care and conservation of pandas. Adopt a panda and receive a certificate of adoption or even a stuffed animal replica.

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Host a Panda Information Session

Organize an information session where you talk about pandas, their importance, and the threats they face. This could be a simple setting among friends and family or even a community event.

7 Interesting Facts About Pandas


Uncommon Role of Siblings

Panda babies are not always singletons. While it's common for mother pandas to give birth to one cub at a time, sometimes they may give birth to twins. However, in the wild, the mother will usually only take care of one cub, abandoning the other.


Distinct Diet

Pandas are technically carnivores, but they have evolved to be specialized bamboo eaters, which makes up to 99% of their diet. They can eat 12-38 kilograms of bamboo per day, spending up to 12 hours eating.


Thumb Functionality

Pandas developed an extra 'thumb.' This isn't a real thumb though; it's an extended wrist bone that helps them to grasp and eat bamboo.


Conservational Importance

Pandas play a crucial role in China's bamboo forests by spreading seeds and helping to grow vegetation. These forests are home to a myriad of wild plant and animal species.


Symbolism and Protection

The giant panda is something of a living emblem for the country of China and symbolizes peace and harmony. It is also a symbol for wildlife conservation. The World Wildlife Fund even uses a panda as its logo.


Sleep Patterns

Pandas are more or less lazy creatures. They spend two-thirds of their day feeding and the rest of it sleeping.


Birth Size

Giant panda newborns are the smallest baby mammals relative to their mother's size. A cub weighs only 1/900th of its mother's weight. That's like a human giving birth to a stick of butter!

National Panda Day FAQs

Next National Panda Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 March 16th Thursday
2024 March 16th Saturday
2025 March 16th Sunday
2026 March 16th Monday
2027 March 16th Tuesday
What is the pattern? Every March 16th

National Panda Day Word Search

  • Panda
  • Bamboo
  • Conservation
  • China
  • Endangered
  • Sanctuary