Wild panda population nearly doubles in 40 years

Wild panda population nearly doubles in 40 years

By Ashmeeta Subra  February 14th, 2024

The population of giant pandas in the wild has nearly doubled thanks primarily to China’s efforts to protect the species and their habitats over the last few decades.  


According to China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the total number of giant pandas increased from 1,100 in the 1980s to 1,900, marking a significant victory for wildlife conservation.   

Established in October 2021, the Giant Panda National Park in Central China spans over 22,000 square kilometres, providing a home for around 72 per cent of the species’ population. Protected areas for the bears have increased in total size from 1.39 million hectares to 2.58 million hectares since 2012, safeguarding the beloved animals.  

In response, the International Union for Conservation of Nature recently adjusted the giant panda's status from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’. 

“This recognition acknowledges China's successful panda conservation initiatives, affirming the nation's commitment to wildlife preservation,” said Zhang Yue, an official with the National Forestry and Grassland Administration. 

The global captive giant panda population has now reached 728 and is another important facet of panda conservation. These populations result in improved genetic diversity across the species genome, and its estimated the total population of captive animals is capable of maintaining 90 per cent diversity for up to 200 years. In 2023, 46 pandas were successfully bred in captivity. 

Since 2023, China has conducted assessments of 23 international institutions in 19 countries, ensuring compliance with standards in construction, care, and disease prevention for giant pandas living abroad.  

“The cooperation institutions generally meet the requirements in terms of venue construction, feeding and nursing, and disease prevention and control measures,” Zhang said, noting that these pandas are in good health.  

Zhang added that giant pandas are pivotal in enhancing awareness of biodiversity conservation, increasing public awareness, and fostering grassroots communication. The pandas living abroad have become a window for promoting friendly interaction between China and foreign countries, bringing joy to people around the world and encouraging people-to-people exchanges.    

Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes. 


Positive Actions

Ashmeeta Subra

With background in international relations and marketing communications, Ashmeeta is excited to use her skills to encourage positive environmental actions through Planet Ark. She believes that by taking small actions, we can help make a big difference and be good stewards of our planet. Outside of work, she loves spending time in nature and enjoying downtime at the beach.

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