Name ______Date ______
3rd Grade September Formative Assessment
pandas were born in captivity. This
photo shows a 7-month-old giant
panda cub in the Wolong Nature
Reserve in Sichuan, China.
BEIJING, China (Achieve3000, March 2, 2011). China's giant panda is an endangered species. But the panda populationgrew in 2010. Why is this? A record number of cubs were bornin captivity.
Scientists announced the news in October 2010. Giant panda"YoYo" gave birth to healthy twins. In 2010, 19 panda cubswere born in captivity. That beat the old record of 18 births. It
was set in 2006.
There are only about 1,600 pandas left on Earth. So every new
cub counts. These black-and-white bears are about the same size as the American black bear. Pandas eat mainly bamboo.So they can live only where bamboo is found. Once, pandaslived in much of China's lowlands. However, farmers and others
cut down many bamboo patches. Now, pandas live only in the mountains.
For pandas, losing their habitat is a problem. It has caused some pandas to die out. The animals are also indanger from hunters. In addition, pandas have few cubs. Mothers in the wild usually have a baby only once
every two or three years.
Scientists want to save giant pandas. That's why they began raising pandas in captivity. Some are raised atWolong Nature Reserve. It's in China. YoYo's twins were born there. In all, about 300 giant pandas are living
in captivity around the world.
Pandas have one or two babies at a time. The mother cares for her babies. This goes on for years.
Pandas are tiny at birth. They weigh about 5 ounces. They have no hair. Panda babies are about the size ofa stick of butter.
Panda mothers feed their babies milk. This happens for about one year. But the baby panda doesn't leave its mother until it's about 2 or 3 years old. So pandas don't have many babies. Most panda mothers raise no
more than six or eight babies during their whole lives.
bamboo (noun) tall, woody grass
captivity (noun) when a person or an animal is kept in a cage or other place and cannot go free
endangered species (noun) a kind of plant or animal that is in danger of disappearing or dying out
population (noun) the number in one group of people or animals
reserve (noun) land that is set up to keep animals safe
9. Habitat loss means fewer pandas. What else keeps the panda count low? How do these facts support the main idea of the readings? Use facts and details from the article to answer the question.