In an update to their Red List(which classifies species according to population sizes and threats they're facing) of Threatened Species on Sunday, September 4, which evaluate a species' conservation status, the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) announced that the giantpanda population has raised enough for the endangered species label to be demoted to 'vulnerable'.
The IUCN's first assessment of the species in 1965 listed the giant panda as "very rare but believed to be stable or increasing". The global giant panda population has been on the hike eith an approximate total population of 2,060 pandas in 2015, up from 1,596 counted in 2000-2004 census.
Giant pandas, China’s national symbol, have been on the IUCN endangered list since 1990. But China has been aware of their decline since the 1960s, when the first panda reserves were established, said WWF. Since then, forest protection, reforestation, and strict laws against the killing of pandas allowed the panda population to recover. About 1,864 pandas live in the wild today, a 17 percent increase since 2004. This was noted in the recent survey.
Giant panda has been the focus of an intensive, high-profile conservation campaign to recover an endangered species since 1970, according to the World Wildlife Fund(WWF). Infact they used panda in their logo since 1961.
“For over fifty years, the giant panda has been the globe’s most beloved conservation icon as well as the symbol of WWF. 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 Marco Lambertini, WWF Director General. He added, “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."
This indeed is great news but it doesnt mean that pandas are safe. The IUCN said that in the next eighty years, climate change could destroy more than 35% of bamboo forests as they stay on a bamboo-only diet. This would surely have effects on their conservation. Therefore, the animal’s long-term survival very much depends on continuing conservation efforts