China: Giant pandas are vulnerable, not endangered now

Chinese conservation officials have announced that, Chinese giant Panda is no longer an endangered species.

Key Facts

  • Status of giant panda has been updated to “vulnerable”.
  • There are now 1,800 giant pandas living in wild.
  • Number increased due to the China’s devotion in maintaining nature reserves and other conservation initiatives during recent years.
  • Number of other species like Siberian tigers, Asian elephants, and crested ibises have also increased gradually.

IUCN Status of Giant Panda

Giant panda was considered “vulnerable” for five years. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) removed giant pandas the list of endangered species in 2016. This decision was challenged by Chinese officials then.

Giant panda

This bear, also known as panda bear, is native to South Central China. Bear is characterised by its bold black-and-white coat and rotund body. Giant panda name is used to distinguish it from red panda. They belong to order Carnivora, but are also folivore. Bamboo shoots and leaves making more than 99% of their diet. They occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in form of birds, carrion or rodents. They also eat (in captivity) honey, eggs, fish, yams, oranges, bananas or shrub leaves along with specially prepared food.

Habitat of Giant Panda

They live in few mountain ranges of central China, mainly in Sichuan and neighbouring Shaanxi & Gansu. They once lived in lowland areas but have been driven out because of farming, deforestation, and other development. As per 2007 report, 239 pandas were living in captivity inside China and 27 outside country. Number of pandas increased to 49 by December 2014 in captivity outside China.

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