A report, published by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature over the weekend, has revealed that the giant panda is no longer considered endangered.
Conservation efforts over the last decade have been successful enough that the species is now classified as ‘vulnerable’, having been downgraded from ‘endangered’.
This is largely due to the population rebound in China, which counts the giant panda as it’s national animal, and has seen a 17% boom in the last 10 years.
The IUCN’s Red List estimates that there are now approximately 1864 adult pandas in China, and cub numbers (which are rough estimates) bring that figure up to 2060 in total.
Marco Lambertini, WWF Director General, said in a press 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.”
Although this is welcome news for one species, which experts estimated in 2009 would be extinct within three generations, the Red list isn’t all positive.
Sadly it also revealed that the eastern gorilla is now endangered, meaning four of the six great ape species are now listed internationally as ‘critically endangered’.
The eastern gorilla has suffered a 70% population collapse over the past 20 years, primarily due to illegal hunting.