After Nearly 30 Years, Giant Pandas Are No Longer Endangered
The world is starting to make sense again
Dear lovers of cute, fuzzy, black and white, bamboo-lovin' creatures,
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which monitors threatened species on its "Red List," announced that giant pandas are going from being categorized as "endangered" to now being "vulnerable".
"Its population has grown due to effective forest protection and reforestation," the IUCN said, giving props to the Chinese government's efforts.
The group noted a 17% rise in the number of pandas between 2004 and 2014, when a census in China found 1,864 panda bears in the wild.
The conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says this development is "a welcome piece of good news for the world's threatened wildlife."
"Knowing that the panda is now a step further from extinction is an exciting moment for everyone committed to conserving the world's wildlife and their habitats," said WWF Director General Marco Lambertini in a statement.
"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."
The Chinese government and WWF have worked together to build 67 nature reserves for the pandas, protecting nearly two-thirds of the animals.
While an increasing panda population is great news, it is predicted that climate change will eliminate over 35% of the panda's bamboo habitat in the next 80 years.
The IUCN notes how critical it is to continually put in this same or more effort in conserving, or else it's possible to see the progress made in the past two decades be lost.
"Everyone should celebrate this achievement, but pandas remain scattered and vulnerable, and much of their habitat is threatened by poorly planned infrastructure projects," said Lo Sze Ping, the chief executive of WWF-China. "And remember: There are still only 1,864 left in the wild."
Although that is a good reminder to keep us working hard, we are just going to savor this sweet moment of positive panda pandemonium.
These cuties can go back to being everything that makes us humans adore them:
Secret ninja pandas
And pandas that fall and eat at the same time
SHARE with your friends and family who would love to know that pandas are making a major comeback, or who just want a little panda getaway.