Step away from extinction
Great news! Giant pandas are no longer classified as 'endangered'. They've been downgraded to 'vulnerable' on the global list of species at risk of extinction after their population increased by 17% in a decade. It shows that conservation efforts are working and provides hope for the world's other threatened wildlife.
Help secure their future
Pulling the panda back from the brink
It's official. The panda is on the road to recovery. For fifty years, it has been the world's most beloved conservation icon and WWF's symbol. And decades of dedicated effort are now paying off.
Back in the 1980s, there were as few as 1,114 pandas in China. But the most recent survey in 2014 estimated that there were 1,864 pandas living in the wild.
After 30 years of slow but steady progress, the IUCN has now changed the panda's status on the Red List of Threatened Species. The decision is a recognition of the hard work of the Chinese government, local communities, nature reserve staff and WWF over many years. But the panda's long term future is not yet secure.
Saving pandas and so much more
It has taken a huge effort to halt the decline in panda numbers. WWF has been working with the government since 1981 on initiatives to save the world's most famous bears and their unique habitat. We've helped to establish an integrated network of giant panda reserves and wildlife corridors as well as working with local communities to develop sustainable livelihoods and minimise their impact on the forests.
The number of panda reserves has jumped to 67. They now protect nearly two-thirds of all wild pandas as well as large swathes of mountainous bamboo forests. These reserves 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.
It is an achievement to celebrate. But pandas remain scattered and vulnerable, and much of their habitat is threatened by poorly-planned infrastructure projects. And remember: there are still only 1,864 left in the wild.
After decades of work, it is clear that the future of pandas and their forest home depends on even greater efforts, especially with the increasing impact of climate change. It will require even more government investment, stronger partnerships with local communities and a wider understanding of the importance for people of conserving wildlife and the landscapes in which they live. And it will certainly need your continued support.
Help save the panda
WWF’s focus was solely on panda conservation when we began our work in China in 1981. Our approach evolved with decades of monitoring and research. You can help by donating to our conservation work today.