19:13 GMT +315 October 2019
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    The image shows Pandas in Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, China

    From the Brink of Panda-monium: Giant Pandas No Longer an Endangered Species

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    Giant pandas are no longer considered an endangered species as their status has been upgraded to ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

    The IUCN has officially changed the giant panda's status from 'endangered' to 'vulnerable' on its Red List of Threatened Species, as the population of these creatures has apparently increased by 17 percent during the decade up to 2014.

    The organization praised the measures implemented by the Chinese government to conserve this species, naming them a "positive step" that "must be strongly supported."

    "The recovery of the panda shows that when science, political will and the engagement of local communities come together, we can save wildlife and also improve biodiversity," World Wildlife Fund Director General Marco Lambertini said.

    He also remarked that the fact that the animal, which became a symbol of the organization he presides over, is now one step further from extinction is "an exciting moment for everyone committed to conserving the world's wildlife and their habitats."

    The IUCN warns, however, that over 35 percent of the panda's bamboo habitat may be destroyed in the next 80 years due to climate change, which may result in the creatures’ population declining, completely reversing these recent gains.

    Fortunately, this wasn't the only recent positive development in biodiversity, as according to the IUCN’s list, the Tibetan Antilope is now classified as 'near threatened' instead of 'endangered'. The creatures' population rapidly declined during the 1980s and early 1990s due to poaching, from nearly a million to about 70,000; their current population is estimated to be between 100,000 and 150,000.

    Also, two species endemic to Australia, the Greater Stick-nest Rat and the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby, have also had their status improved – from 'vulnerable' to 'near threatened' and from 'endangered' to 'vulnerable' respectively – due to successful recovery and conservation programs.


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    biodiversity, conservation program, giant pandas, IUCN, World Wildlife Fund, Marco Lambertini, China
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