Giant panda is no longer endangered, experts say

Daily Mail - Science & tech

It may be the poster animal for endangered species awareness, but it appears the giant panda has bounced back. The black and white bear, a symbol of China, has finally been shifted off the endangered species list after years of intensive conservation efforts. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said in a report released on Sunday that the animal is now classified as a'vulnerable' instead of'endangered' species, reflecting its growing numbers in the wild in southern China. Conservation experts say the giant panda (pictured) is no longer endangered in the wild. It said the wild panda population jumped to 1,864 in 2014 from 1,596 in 2004, the result of work by Chinese agencies to enforce poaching bans and expand forest reserves.


Rare albino panda caught on camera in China reserve: state media

The Japan Times

BEIJING - A rare all-white panda has been caught on camera at a nature reserve in southwest China, showing albinism exists among wild pandas in the region, state media reported. The spotless, red-eyed animal was photographed while trekking through the forest mid-April in southwestern Sichuan province, said official news agency Xinhua on Saturday. The panda is an albino between 1 to 2 years old, said Li Sheng, a researcher specialising in bears at Peking University, who was quoted in Xinhua's report. The Wolong National Nature Reserve -- where the animal was spotted -- told AFP it had no further details about the albino panda. More than 80 percent of the world's wild pandas live in Sichuan, with the rest in Shaanxi and Gansu province.


New Video Shows Returning Pandas to the Wild Actually Works

National Geographic News

A female giant panda born in captivity and released into the wild has been filmed four years later looking well and acting wild--in new territory. It's the first time a captive-born panda has crossed boundaries into another reserve, providing welcome relief for conservationists who have struggled to reintroduce the famous species back into its native China. Zhang Xiang, which means The Thoughtful One, was also the first female panda set free under China's breed-and-release program, which has so far introduced seven pandas into the wild. In 2013, officials popped open Zhang Xiang's crate and watched her amble to freedom inside Liziping Nature Reserve, in the mountains of China's Sichuan Province. Her scat was last seen in Liziping in January 2016.


Giant panda off endangered list as China's conservation pays off

New Scientist

The giant panda is off the endangered list thanks to aggressive conservation efforts in China. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said in a report that the panda is now classified as a "vulnerable" instead of "endangered" species, reflecting its growing numbers in the wild in southern China. It said the wild panda population jumped to 1,864 in 2014 from 1,596 in 2004, the result of work by Chinese agencies to enforce poaching bans and expand forest reserves. However, gorillas found in East Africa are sliding towards extinction, conservationists have warned as the primates were classed as critically endangered. The gorillas have seen their fortunes worsen as a result of illegal hunting, with their status on the latest global Red List of Threatened Species changed from endangered to critically endangered – just one step away from extinction.


Pandas removed from international endangered list, but China says they still face serious threat

Los Angeles Times

A leading international group has taken the giant panda off its endangered list thanks to decades of conservation efforts, but China's government discounted the move Monday, saying it did not view the status of the country's beloved symbol as any less serious. The International Union for Conservation of Nature said in a report released Sunday that the panda is now classified as a "vulnerable" instead of "endangered" species, reflecting its growing numbers in the wild in southern China. It said the wild panda population jumped to 1,864 in 2014 from 1,596 in 2004, the result of work by Chinese agencies to enforce poaching bans and expand forest reserves. The report warned, however, that although better forest protection has helped increase panda numbers, climate change is predicted to eliminate more than 35% of its natural bamboo habitat in the next 80 years, potentially leading to another decline. In a statement to the Associated Press, China's State Forestry Administration said Monday that it disputed the classification change because pandas' natural habitats have been splintered by natural and human causes.