Environment

China’s wild panda population rises to around 1,900

Beijing, Jan 25 (EFE).- The population of wild giant pandas in China has grown to around 1,900, marking a “significant increase” from 1,100 in the 1980s, the country’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration said on Thursday.

The increase is largely attributed to “intensified conservation efforts” made by China, said Zhang Yue, deputy director of the Wildlife Conservation Department of the state institution.

Following the latest census, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has now revised the giant panda’s status from “endangered” to “vulnerable,” the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China established the Giant Panda National Park in October 2021, covering nearly 22,000 square kilometers (8,494 square miles) across the central-western provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu.

The national reserve now offers enhanced protection for nearly 72 percent of the country’s wild panda population, Zhang noted.

The National Forestry and Grassland Administration said that protected areas for pandas have expanded from 1.39 to 2.58 million hectares since 2012, contributing to the safety and sustainable growth of the panda population.

Alongside the rise in wild panda numbers, the global captive population of giant pandas has also increased to 728, with 46 births recorded last year.

The genetic diversity of giant pandas has also improved in recent decades, which means they are now “a healthy, dynamic and sustainable population,” Zhang said.

An endemic species of the country, giant pandas are regarded as a “national treasure” and symbol of valiancy and peace in China. EFE

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