China says gi­ant panda is still en­dan­gered

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

China’s State Forestry Ad­min­is­tra­tion (SFA) said that it was too early to down­grade the gi­ant panda’s con­ser­va­tion sta­tus af­ter an in­ter­na­tional group re­clas­si­fied it from an “en­dan­gered” to “vul­ner­a­ble” species.

The In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture an­nounced the change in a re­port, af­ter re­view­ing the re­sults of con­ser­va­tion ef­forts that have boosted the panda’s pop­u­la­tion.

In­sist­ing that the pan­das re­main classed as en­dan­gered, the SFA stressed that there are still threats to the an­i­mal’s sur­vival.

The wild gi­ant panda pop­u­la­tion is frag­mented into 33 iso­lated groups, with some hav­ing fewer than 10 an­i­mals, which lim­its the gene pool for re­pro­duc­tion. Mean­while, cli­mate change is pre­dicted to wipe out more than one third of the panda’s bam­boo habi­tat, a sit­u­a­tion that will only be ex­ac­er­bated by in­suf­fi­cient fund­ing and tech­ni­cal sup­port.

At the end of 2015, China had 1,864 gi­ant pan­das in the wild, in­creas­ing from about 1,100 in 2000, and there were 422 in cap­tiv­ity, ac­cord­ing to the SFA.

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