The IUCN recently re-classified both the panda and the Tibetan antelope, changing them from “endangered” to “vulnerable”, a huge step that reflects the effectiveness of the conservation measures that have been implemented by the Chinese government, since both species are found only within China.
There are currently an estimated 2,060 wild pandas, which is a huge improvement from a low of just over 1,200 in the 1980s. In the decade before 2014, the population of pandas increased by 17%. Much of this success is due to efforts by the government to re-wild some of China’s countryside, re-creating the bamboo forests and re-populating them with pandas.
According to WWF, who’s logo features the loveable panda, “These efforts have seen the number of panda reserves jump to 67, which now protect nearly two-thirds of all wild pandas. They have also helped to safeguard large swathes of mountainous bamboo forests, which shelter countless other species and provide natural services to vast numbers of people, including tens of millions who live alongside rivers downstream of panda habitat.”
We at Wild Wonders of China look forward to bringing you images of both the pandas and China’s other, lesser-known wildlife and wild places.