New survey shows increase in wild panda numbers
Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca); Sichuan Province, China.
The global population of wild giant pandas, found only in China’s Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, now stands at 1,864 – an increase of 268 over the last decade. The Fourth National Giant Panda Survey by China’s State Forest Administration (SFA), also shows the geographic range of pandas has expanded to 2,57 million ha since 2003. WWF welcomes this news which shows the value of establishing panda nature reserves, to gain legal protection for panda habitat. More than two-thirds of the wild pandas are found in 67 protected areas created for pandas – an increase of 27 since the last survey. Challenges facing the panda include fragmentation of its habitat especially due to road construction. WWF works with the SFA to establish ecological corridors to link isolated panda populations.
Original article posted on: 28.02.15 Updated on: 23.03.15