Pandas are in danger primarily because of habitat loss, but they also suffer losses to poaching. They are extremely difficult to breed in captivity, and captive breeding programs have not been successful enough to replace existing captive pandas, much less replenish wild populations.

Giant pandas are heavily protected in their native China, with several designated wildlife areas and extreme antipoaching laws in place. Nonetheless, tourist activities in their areas disrupt their habitats, and local inhabitants also threaten them by harvesting from bamboo forests, which are their primary food source. Their protected areas are in 20 separate patches, and the pandas have difficulty moving from one to another.