These Adorable Giants are Safe (for Now!)
“The recovery of the panda shows that when science, political will and engagement of local communities come together, we can save wildlife and also improve biodiversity,” said Marco Lambertini, WWF Director General.
The giant panda has been considered endangered since 1990. It is now only considered "vulnerable" to extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The group stated that the population has risen by 17% in the decade leading up to 2014. At this time, there were 1,864 giant pandas in the wild in China.
Thanks to two factors - marked decrease in poaching, that was rampant in the 1980s. And also a huge expansion of the animal's protected habitat.
Its population was estimated to have grown by more than 16 per cent in just over a decade. The latest estimates show a population of 1,864 adult giant pandas. Adding cubs to the projection would mean about 2,060 pandas exist today.
The IUCN credited China's enforcement of anti-poaching regulations and expansion of forest reserves for the giant pandas' population growth. But as ever, Chinese officials are contradictory and say the black-and-white creatures are still endangered.