One of the cutest and most popular of the endangered species just got taken off the list, according to an announcement by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Sunday. However, the species is still considered to be vulnerable. The giant panda, immortalized in the logo of the WWF – a non-profit organization fighting for wilderness preservation – is finally going places, thanks to years of efforts to prevent the species from extinction.

The giant panda population has increased by 17 percent

In their statement, the WWF said that the giant panda population has seen an increase of 17 percent in the last decade and the group has downgraded the panda from an “endangered” status to “vulnerable” on the list of threatened species. That list is maintained and monitored by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

It was back in 1990 that the giant panda was placed on the endangered species list, but with the decrease in poaching and an expansion of the #Animals’ protected natural habitat, finally things are improving. A nationwide census was run in China, which showed that 1,864 giant pandas are living in the wild in the decade leading up to 2014, which is an increased over the 2003 census listing 1,600.

In the WWF statement, Director General Marco Lambertini said that the combined efforts of science, political will and engagement in the local communities have proven to save wildlife and to improve diversity. The WWF has for years been working to develop and establish panda reserves and to set up sustainable livelihoods for the animals. As of this date, there are 67 reserves, housing around two-thirds of the total giant panda populations.

The giant panda is still vulnerable

Lo Sze Ping, CEO of WWF-China, celebrates the fact that decades of conservation efforts by the Chinese Government have paid off, and benefit not only the species but their society as well. However, while he says this is a reason for celebration, the pandas are still scattered and vulnerable, with their habitat under threat by badly planned infrastructure projects. He also stressed the fact that there are still only 1,864 pandas living in the wild.

As reported by CNN, two more pandas were added to the list on Saturday, after 19-year-old Lun Lun, living in Zoo Atlanta gave birth to twins. Lun Lun is reportedly originally from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China. Readers can enjoy viewing the new arrivals in the video included below.

#Buzz #EndangeredSpecies