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article imageGiant Pandas are off the endangered list

By Owen Weldon     Sep 6, 2016 in Environment
Following decades of work by conservationists, the giant panda has officially been removed from the endangered species list.
Although the giant panda has been removed from the endangered species list, it is still in the vulnerable category. The change in status was announced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
China has played a significant role in bringing up the numbers of the giant panda, which is the country's national animal. As of now, there is an estimated 1,864 adult pandas.
The IUCN said the population of the giant pandas increases by 17 percent from 2004 to 2014. This is due to a rise in available habitat throughout China.
However, the report did warn that more than 35 percent of the panda's natural bamboo habitat may be eliminated in the next 80 years. This is because of climate change, and as a result the population could be reduced.
The State Forestry Administration released a statement to the Associated Press, saying that it disputed that change in classification because natural and human causes have splintered giant pandas' natural habitats. The pandas live in small, isolated groups with as few as 10 pandas. The animals also have difficulty reproducing and the agency said they are at risk of disappearing altogether.
The forestry administration said if the pandas' conservation status is downgraded or if they relax their conservation work, then the panda population could suffer irreversible losses. The agency added that they are not being alarmist by emphasizing the panda species' endangered status.

Giant panda is no longer endangered, experts say

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by WRCB Channel 3 Eyewitness News on Monday, September 5, 2016
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