The bears with black and white fur are one of the most easily recognized animals in the world. In the past years, we heard that illegal hunting is happening to them. With that being said, are giant pandas endangered in 2021?
The quick answer is no. Giant pandas are now one step away from being endangered species. They are now called vulnerable species.
When did pandas stop being endangered? On the other hand, what causes giant pandas to be endangered?
In this article, I will clearly answer the raised questions. Also, you will know the things that you can do to save our cuddly bears. Sounds great?
Make sure to read until the end to find out the ways on how you can help them. Let’s keep going!
When Did Pandas Stop Being Endangered?
The giant pandas were no longer endangered last 2016. Their status is maintained until this time. Good news, right? Let’s know more about it.
As I have mentioned to you, they were no longer endangered way back in 2016. From then on, they were labeled as vulnerable species. Also, the Chinese government keeps on doing its best to maintain or even improve the panda’s current status.
Now, I want to take you back to the year 1990. Let’s have a piece of more profound knowledge about it. So, this information is based on WWF or the World Wildlife Fund.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, in the 1980s, there were approximately 1,114 giant pandas in China. Now, you may be wondering if that number is too low or too high, correct? Well, we will know that on the latter part.
How It All Began?
The giant pandas previously got endangered in 1990. It happened due to extreme poaching during the 80s. Another thing is the continuous deforestation, which drained their bamboo food source.
In sloping or isolated terrains, bamboo can expand widely, yet it will stop growing in the cooler months. This situation forces the giant pandas in those spaces to move to get their food. Farmland expansion destroys panda natural surroundings, and it disconnects them from their natural habitat.
Moreover, China has also engaged in productive efforts to reforest, even though some actions, including the scandalous Grain-for-Green Program, were not successful in every natural regard.
Since 1940, the Chinese government has attempted to monitor the giant panda environment and secure its wildlife.
How It Is Now?
At present, 67 giant pandas have been saved in the country. Some of them are being bred in captivity and being taken care of by their nannies.
Furthermore, the locals learned about giant panda tourism and how it can benefit the local market. Thus, the relationship has been proven harmonious in general.
Since 2003, the giant panda population has grown by 17% after the Chinese government enacted strict laws and policies. There are currently 1,864 pandas in the wild. Their natural surroundings and habitats have expanded by 11.8%, and the natural habitat has expanded by 6.3% due to reforestation and defensive measures.
In 2016, Pan Pan, an elderly male panda that was the father of more than 130 pandas, died at age 31, one of the factors behind the population’s emotional expansion. Approximately 25% of the whole giant panda population is associated with Pan Pan. Pan Pan was the oldest panda ever recorded. If he is still alive, he could be Grandpa Pan Pan.
Even though protecting the beloved bear is difficult, we at least have experimental evidence supporting their remarkable recovery. Also, public adoration of the species will continue to increase as it strives to preserve their survival. Because of this effort, they can survive.
How Many Giant Pandas Are Left in 2021?
There were approximately 1,864 pandas still living and enjoying their daily bamboos until now, 2021. No more recent searches are other than 2014. More than 400 giant pandas are in captivity.
The Pandas International reports that these numbers will remain the same until new research is conducted. Thanks to the breeding program in China, we can breathe a sigh of relief.
The fact that these cute and fluffy creatures are no longer threatened with extinction is a great relief. It will be a great loss that future generations cannot see a panda.
Moreover, the status of giant pandas has improved from endangered status to vulnerable status in 2016. It is due to the fact of their increase of population by 17% in a decade, according to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
How Many Pandas Are in Captivity in 2021?
According to China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration, of the 600 pandas in captivity, 60 cubs were born in 2019, and 57 survived the year.
Moreover, a rise in the number of pandas in captivity was a good and encouraging sign for the pandas’ future and longevity. More pandas can be bred, which will create a larger population of pandas.
What Animals Are No Longer Endangered in 2021?
There are three animals, which are no longer being called endangered or facing the brink of extinction. Follow the list below to see if your favorite animals are among them.
1. Giant Panda
It is a large bearlike mammal with black and white markings that mainly eats bamboo and has become increasingly rare in certain mountainous forests in China.
2. Southern White Rhinoceros
It is one of the largest and heaviest animals on the planet, with a huge body, a large head, a short neck, and a broad chest.
3. Arabian Oryx
It is a medium-sized antelope that is native to the Arabian Peninsula and has a distinct bump at its shoulder, long straight horns, and long tufted tail.
What Causes Giant Pandas To Be Endangered?
Here are the main reasons why pandas could become endangered.
1. Loss of Habitat
Across the Chinese border, where the giant pandas live, urbanization is taking place. This causes the invasion of giant pandas’ habitat. People will build infrastructures at the expense of the giant pandas’ habitat.
2. Difficulties in Adjusting
The digestive system of giant pandas is made specifically to eat bamboo. So, they will die if they are not in locations where their food supply grows. Even though they occasionally eat other foods, it cannot keep them alive without bamboo.
3. Poaching of Animals
Due to the high price of the black and white fur of the giant panda on the black market, there are still people who hunt giant pandas illegally. People are still doing this animal cruelty, despite the strict laws against it.
What Is Being Done To Save Giant Pandas?
A lot of things have been carried out to save the pandas from their feared extinction. Since most of the panda population lives in China, the Chinese government has taken three long-term measures to ensure their safety and survival.
1. Giant Panda Natural Habitat Protection and Expansion
The first step was protecting the giant pandas’ natural habitat. To save their habitats, the Chinese government has set 13 panda nature reserves zones. In these zones, people left cultivating fields to develop back as woodland.
Moreover, trees and bamboo are growing well as results of this great move, and farming and logging became prohibited.
According to government research in 2015, the panda habitat has expanded by 2,720 square kilometers (roughly the space of Yosemite National Park). It is presently double the size of Serengeti National Park.
2. Giant Panda Population Improvement
The second step involved captive breeding. During the 1980s, much of the bamboo on the Qionglai Mountains died, causing plenty of giant pandas to be starving. So, they sent the pandas to the Chengdu Zoo.
Moreover, feeding and protecting the giant pandas in the zoo is much safer than freely living in the wild without protection.
The first six starving giant pandas had given birth and developed into over 150 pandas by the time the Chengdu Panda Center was established in 1987. Isn’t that awesome?
3. Giant Panda Strict Protection Law
Lastly, there were enforcing laws regarding pandas. The giant pandas are known as China’s national treasure. It is considered among the top “assured species” under China’s Wild Animal Protection Law.
Before, there is a lot of chasing, hunting, and killing of giant pandas. Sadly, some people even went to the extent of keeping their bodies and hides as souvenirs. Because of these acts, China’s government administration set up laws and severe penalties to protect giant pandas.
What Are Giant Panda Reserves For?
Here are the purposes of giant panda reserves according to Pandas International.
Giant panda reserves are meant to:
- protect the giant pandas’ habitat or forest.
- protect bamboo, the giant pandas’ main food source.
- provide a migration corridor between habitats for giant pandas.
- organize patrols in reserve to prevent poaching and logging.
- patrol the reserves looking for sick or injured giant pandas.
- take sick or injured giant pandas to the nearest panda hospital for care.
- conduct research on giant panda mating, breeding, and diseases.
- educate visitors and tourists about giant panda protection.
- minimize the need for giant panda habitat to be used for livelihood by communities adjacent to the reserves.
- educate locals about the benefits of conserving the giant pandas and how tourism to the region is beneficial.
How Can We Save Giant Pandas From Being Extinct?
Despite the increased numbers of giant pandas and their vulnerable status, as opposed to endangered, we need to realize that they are still on the brink of extinction. The mission to save giant pandas is far from over.
Nonetheless, there are many ways we can do to help the pandas, just like donating financial assistance. It would be best if you will donate to a panda-specific charity. However, be careful when choosing charities. Most charity sites nowadays are scams, so be careful when selecting them.
You can donate to our cute pandas using the trustworthy charity sites below.
A non-government organization that works in the field of wilderness preservation and reduced human impact on the environment, the World Wide Fund for Nature was founded in 1961.
It is a non-profit organization established to safeguard the endangered giant pandas by providing public awareness and education, research, habitat preservation and enhancement, and assistance to giant panda centers.
It is the National Zoological Park, more commonly known as the National Zoo, and it is one of the oldest zoos in the US.
On the other hand, if you are young and have no money, don’t worry. Money isn’t the only thing that can save pandas.
Here are the 3 things that you can do to help without donating money.
1. You can educate your friends and family on the importance of saving pandas.
Some of yours might as well send the message to their family and friends, and the words will spread like wildfire.
2. You can also have to save the pandas by using fewer papers.
Giant pandas live on bamboo, which bamboo trees are being chopped down to make paper, which will become a threat to their natural habitats and diet.
3. By choosing recycled items, you are assisting with shielding pandas from extinction.
Choose reusable paper items whenever you can, and make sure to reuse them when you are done with them.
In a nutshell, we have learned that giant pandas are no longer considered an endangered species. You also learned about the reason why they became endangered. The same is true with the ways in how we can help them through big or small acts.
We can do a lot to save our fluffy and adorable bears. Not all heroes wear capes; we can be the heroes too.
Furthermore, the Chinese government efforts and the people active in the mission are the true panda heroes. They dedicated their lives and time to ensure the survival of the species. They deserve to be rewarded for their acts of kindness.
Moreover, the giant pandas might have become extinct or still be regarded as an endangered species without them. So, let’s work hard to protect our fluffy, black and white bears in our ways.
Don’t forget to share this article with your fellow panda-lovers, friends, or family.
Below is a Pinterest friendly-photo… so you can pin it to your “Panda” Board!