National Panda Day 2024 Theme, Events, Activities

National Panda Day

National Panda Day is an annual event celebrated on March 16th to raise awareness about the conservation of giant pandas.

This special day recognizes the cultural significance of pandas and highlights global efforts to protect these iconic bears.

Facts Check : – Pandas are no longer endangered – As of 2021, they have been reclassified as “vulnerable” thanks to conservation efforts that have increased wild panda numbers to around 1,900 currently.

They eat almost exclusively bamboo – Up to 99% of their diet is bamboo, and they may eat 26-84 lbs per day. This fibrous diet makes them poop up to 50 times daily.

National Panda Day 2024

National Panda Day 2024

National Panda Day 2024 will be celebrated on Saturday, March 16th, 2024. This annual holiday falls on March 16th every year to raise awareness about giant pandas and support conservation efforts for this vulnerable species.


When and Why Was National Panda Day Created? Panda Day was likely started sometime around the year 2000 by panda conservation groups or individuals concerned about the endangered status of giant pandas. The goal of the day is to educate people about pandas and threats to their survival, as well as highlight conservation successes. Some key dates in panda conservation history:

  • 1869 – The first Westerner observed a giant panda
  • 1936 – The first panda exhibited in a Western zoo arrived in London
  • 1961 – WWF adopted the panda as its logo
  • 1963 – China banned panda hunting and established reserves
  • 2016 – Pandas reclassified from “endangered” to “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List

Why Do We Love Pandas?

Pandas capture hearts with their appealing looks and behaviors:

  • Distinctive black and white fur markings
  • Round, fuzzy bodies and large heads
  • Endearing clumsiness and roly-poly somersaulting
  • Voracious appetite for bamboo
  • Expressive eyes and ears
  • Solitary and peaceful nature

They also represent positive diplomatic relations between China and other nations. Pandas are considered Chinese national treasures and goodwill ambassadors.

What Threats Do Pandas Face?

Though no longer endangered, pandas still face significant threats:

  • Habitat loss and fragmentation – Pandas rely on dense bamboo forests that are increasingly fragmented by roads, railways, and other development
  • Climate change – Rising temperatures may eliminate bamboo forests and make pandas’ high-altitude habitat unlivable
  • Occasional starvation – When bamboo dies off during mass flowering events, pandas struggle to find alternative food
  • Low birth rates – Pandas rarely give birth to more than one cub every two years

Habitat loss and lack of connectivity between panda populations are the greatest current dangers.

How Can We Help Pandas?

Here are some ways to support panda conservation:

  • Donate to organizations like WWF and Pandas International that protect panda habitats
  • Visit a panda in an accredited zoo or sanctuary
  • Purchase products that fund panda conservation
  • Spread awareness on social media about threats pandas face
  • Reduce your carbon footprint to help mitigate climate change
  • Contact government representatives to encourage panda-friendly policies

What Is Being Done to Save Pandas?

In recent decades, China has made tremendous investments in panda conservation through efforts like:

  • Establishing a network of 67 panda reserves now protecting 66% of wild pandas
  • Expanding total panda habitat under protection to nearly 54%
  • Creating bamboo corridors to connect isolated panda populations
  • Working with partners like WWF to develop science-based conservation programs
  • Training reserve staff in wild panda monitoring and habitat management
  • Engaging communities in panda conservation activities

These efforts have helped giant panda numbers rebound from just over 1000 to 1864 in the wild. Ongoing monitoring, habitat restoration, and conservation of panda reserves remain vital for the future survival of this iconic species.

How Can We Celebrate National Panda Day?

You can celebrate National Panda Day by planning special events, activities and themes.

Here are some fun ways to observe this “pandarful” holiday:

  • Visit pandas at your local zoo
  • Have a panda-themed party with black, white and green foods
  • Craft panda art projects or toys with kids
  • Watch documentaries about pandas
  • Cook Chinese dishes with bamboo shoots
  • Share facts about pandas on social media
  • Donate to a panda conservation charity

Most importantly, celebrate pandas while also raising awareness about the continued threats they face in the wild.

National Panda Day Events

On National Panda Day, zoos and conservation centers host special events in honor of these remarkable bears. Here are some of the ways pandas are celebrated globally:

United States

  • The National Zoo in Washington D.C. – home to beloved pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian – decorates with panda-themed enrichments.
  • Zoo Atlanta invites guests to watch panda care sessions and keeper chats highlighting panda facts. Their cubs can be seen tumbling and wrestling together.
  • Memphis Zoo visitors can craft panda art, go on a panda Provision Search and purchase paw print souvenirs.
  • San Diego Zoo spotlights their panda cub Xiao Liwu while cultivating bamboo for the pandas to enjoy.


  • The China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas decorates with panda lanterns and hosts educational performances.
  • Hong Kong’s Ocean Park runs awareness initiatives for panda conservation and recruits volunteers to share facts.
  • The Chengdu Panda Base breeds endangered pandas and invites the public to sponsor and name cubs.


The Adventure World Zoo near Tokyo wraps their twin panda cubs in cozy blankets and prepares interactive feeding time sessions.


Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland feeds pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian special bamboo ice cakes decorated for the holiday.


Mexico City’s Chapultepec Zoo throws a panda party with music, treats and papier-mâché pandas made by children.


Adelaide Zoo in Southern Australia shares the conservation story of Wang Wang and Fu Ni, the only pandas in the country.

Panda Characteristics and Behavior

Pandas are beloved for their cute, roly-poly appearance. These unique bears have bodies typical of other bear species but possess some remarkable traits. Here are some of the most interesting facts about panda bears:

  • Pandas have a carnivorous digestive system but have adapted to feed almost exclusively on bamboo. They eat 20-40 lbs of bamboo each day.
  • Their distinctive black and white coloring likely provides camouflage in their shaded forest habitat. The bold contrasting pattern makes their eyes and ears stand out to communicate with other pandas.
  • An extended wrist bone acts like a thumb allowing pandas to grasp and manipulate bamboo while eating. They use this pseudo-thumb to also grip objects like tree trunks.
  • Poor eyesight is compensated by excellent hearing and smell. They can smell food up to 5 miles away.
  • Pandas are generally solitary animals and avoid social interactions outside of mating.
  • To mark territory, pandas perform handstands against trees distributing their scent from gland secretions.
  • Cubs are born in August and September weighing only 3-5 ounces. Pink, hairless and blind, they depend completely on their mother who cares for a single cub at a time.


Can pandas be pets?

No, pandas should not be kept as personal pets. They are wild animals that require specialized care best provided by accredited zoos and reserves. Removing them from natural habitats disrupts wild populations.

How many pandas are in the world in 2024?

As of 2024, there are approximately 1,900 giant pandas living in the wild, mostly in China’s Sichuan Province1. This is up from about 1,100 pandas in the 1980s.

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About Hailey Pruett

Hailey “Lex” Pruett is a nonbinary writer at YIHY primarily covering reptiles and amphibians. They have over five years of professional content writing experience. Additionally, they grew up on a hobby farm and have volunteered at animal shelters to gain further experience in animal care.

A longtime resident of Knoxville, Tennessee, Hailey has owned and cared extensively for a wide variety of animals in their lifetime, including cats, dogs, lizards, turtles, frogs and toads, fish, chickens, ducks, horses, llamas, rabbits, goats, and more!

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