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when did the panda become endangered?
Endangered No Longer: The Giant Panda’s Remarkable Recovery
Easily one of the most beloved creatures in existence, the giant panda celebrated a small victory in September of 2016. The cuddly mammal was officially moved from the IUCN’s Red List of “endangered species” to “vulnerable species” thanks to tireless efforts of conservationists campaigning and working on their behalf.
Giant pandas first became endangered in 1990 due to excessive poaching in the 80s and deforestation.
depleting their bamboo food source.
A fickle species, bamboo can grow extensively in mountainous or barren lands, but then dies in the winter. This forces giant pandas in those areas to relocate for their food.
Farmland expansion causes fragmentation of panda habitats, secluding the species to those locations deprived of bamboo and other pandas.
China has made several successful attempts to reforest, although efforts such as the infamous Grain-for-Green Program have not yet proven to be definitively effective on all environmental fronts.
Since the 1940s, the Chinese government has worked to conserve giant panda habitat and protect the wildlife within it. Now, 67 panda reserves speckle the country, several of which breed them in captivity and care for the sick or injured.
Visitors who come to the reserves are educated about the conservation efforts, and locals in the area also learn about how the giant panda’s tourism draw can benefit the community. The relationship has proven to be symbiotic all around.
According to the last census in 2014, giant pandas populations have undergone a 17% increase since 2003, a huge conservation achievement for the species.
The number of pandas found in the wild has now reached 1,864 individuals.
Furthermore, the giant panda’s occupied habitat has increased by 11.8%, and useable habitat has increased by 6.3% thanks to reforestation and protective measures.
One factor of the dramatic increase in population can be traced back to, surprisingly, a single male panda named Pan Pan. At the ripe age of 31, Pan Pan passed away from cancer late last year.
but not before he fathered over 130 pandas – about 25% of all pandas currently in captivity.
While the struggle to preserve the much-loved bear has been an uphill battle for nearly 30 years.
there has finally been empirical evidence documenting the progress of its remarkable recovery.
As the public’s love for the species continues to grow, so will attempts to ensure its survival.
Giant Pandas, Symbol of Conservation, Are No Longer Endangered
Honolulu, HawaiiEfforts to save the giant panda, a worldwide symbol of wildlife conservation for half a century, are paying off: The iconic black-and-white bear is no longer endangered, the international body for species protection said on Sunday.
the International Union
Native to Chinese bamboo forests, the panda was upgraded from endangered to vulnerable on the Red List of Threatened Species, managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The newest update to the list includes 82,954 species, 23,928 of which are threatened with extinction. (Also see “20,000 Species Are Near Extinction: Is it Time to Rethink How We Decide Which to Save?”)
Giant panda populations in the wild have risen steadily by 17 percent in the decade up to 2014, when a nationwide census found 1,850 giant pandas in the wild in China. That’s up from the last census of 1,600 animals in 2003.
“It’s a good day to be a panda,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president for wildlife conservation at WWF, a nonprofit whose logo is the giant panda. “We’re thrilled.”
Success for the giant panda, endangered since 1990, is thanks to two factors: A marked decrease in poaching, which was rampant in the 1980s; and a huge expansion of the animal’s protected habitat. (Also read “Pandas Get to Know Their Wild Side.”)
China now has 67 panda reserves, which are similar to U.S. national parks, says Hemley. She also noted that the Tibetan antelope, an endangered species slaughtered in past decades for its fine fur, is also recovering. The mountain species is now listed as near-threatened, according to the Red List.
“This is a deserved status,” says M. Sanjayan, senior scientist at the nonprofit Conservation International. “The Chinese government has put in 30 years of hard work in pandas—[they are] not going to let the panda go extinct.”
Finally Some Good News!
It’s a good day to be a giant panda. Chinese conservation officials have announced that they no longer consider giant pandas in China an endangered species.
Their status has been updated to “vulnerable,” Cui Shuhong from China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment said Wednesday, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reports.
There are now 1,800 giant pandas living in the wild, a number that officials credit to the country’s devotion to maintaining nature reserves and other conservation initiatives in recent years. As a result, other species have also flourished: Siberian tigers, Asian elephants, and crested ibises have all seen a gradual increase in population numbers, according to the outlet.
It’s not clear that the number of giant pandas living in the wild has changed significantly since 2016, when IUCN first made its decision.
At the end of 2015, there were 1,864 pandas living in the wild, according to a Reuters report that cites the Chinese government.
That number was a significant increase from the 1,100 giant pandas that were living in the wild and 422 living in captivity in 2000.
In a statement to NPR, the World Wildlife Fund called it “another sign of hope for the species.”
“Thanks to decades of collaboration between the Chinese government, local communities, companies and NGOs, the giant panda’s future is more secure,” said Colby Loucks, WWF’s Vice President for Wildlife Conservation.
“China’s successful conservation of giant pandas shows what can be achieved when political will and science join forces,” he continued. “Continuing these conservation efforts is critical, but we need to stay vigilant on the current and future impacts climate change may have on giant pandas and their mountainous forest habitat.”
Still, giant pandas aren’t out of the woods just yet. They live in bamboo forests, which are at risk due to climate change.