The Giant Panda’s status has just been changed from “endangered” to “vulnerable” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List
Thanks to China’s decades of conservation efforts, the latest estimate of giant panda population is 1,864 adults. However, there are no exact numbers for giant panda cubs but estimates say it’s around 2,060.
IUCN reports said, "Evidence from a series of range-wide national surveys indicate that the previous population decline has been arrested, and the population has started to increase. The improved status confirms that the Chinese government's efforts to conserve this species are effective.”
However the IUCN warned that the rebound could be short-lived as climate change is said to wipe out one-third of the giant panda’s habitat in the next 80 years.
"And thus panda population is projected to decline, reversing the gains made during the last two decades. To protect this iconic species, it is critical that the effective forest protection measures are continued and that emerging threats are addressed," the report said.
Additionally, the world’s largest primate, eastern gorilla, is now endangered
due to illegal hunting which reduced the gorilla’s numbers to 5,000 all over the world.
IUCN director general Inger Andersen said, “Today is a sad day because the IUCN Red List shows we are wiping out some of our closest relatives.”
The Western Gorilla, Sumatran Orangutan, and Bornean Orangutan are also facing extinction while Chimpanzees and Bonobos are in the endangered list.
The number of eastern gorillas has reduced to more than 70% in two decades.
The IUCN Red List have 82,954 species (both animals and plants) listed. Almost one third of those on the list are considered to be threatened with extinction.