On Wednesday, Chinese officials announced that giant pandas are no longer considered endangered. The species would be reclassified as “vulnerable.”
The exciting news comes as a result of decades of conservation efforts.
Cui Shuhong, head of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said that this new reclassification happened because Beijing “carried out some major activities and measures to protect biodiversity and achieved remarkable results.”
Giant pandas were taken off the list of endangered species in 2016 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but officials in China did not agree.
They believed there was still a lot of work to be done in order to boost the giant panda’s population.
Giant pandas are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity and in the wild.
But with stricter laws, nature reserves, and educating the public about pandas, the wild animals were able to grow.
“Large areas of natural ecosystems have been systematically and completely protected, and wildlife habitats have been effectively improved,” Cui said.
Now with the population of giant pandas in the wild standing at 1,800, officials are confident with the reclassification.
They have also seen the numbers of other rare and endangered species such as Siberian tigers, Amur leopards, Asian elephants, and crested ibis increase as well.
This is such excellent news! It can only get better from here. I hope the number of giant pandas in the wild continues to increase so that one day they are no longer considered vulnerable.