China's wild panda population up nearly 17%

2015-03-01 11:19
(Susan Walsh, AP)

(Susan Walsh, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - China's population of wild giant pandas jumped nearly 17% over a decade, state media reported, with conservation measures credited as being behind the increase.

An investigation by the State Forestry Administration (SFA) found that by the end of 2013 China had 1 864 giant pandas alive in the wild, marking an increase of 268 individuals, or 16.8%, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

The figures compared with a previous survey carried out in 2003, Xinhua said.

The SFA said conservation efforts led to the increase, according to Xinhua.

Habitat

Besides population, panda habitat also increased 11.8% to 2.58 million hectares compared with the 2003 survey, Xinhua said.

China had 375 giant pandas in captivity at the end of 2013, the report said, with 166 males and 209 females.

The total figure marked a gain of 211, or 128.7%, compared with 2003, Xinhua said, citing SFC figures.

The report also said that as of June last year there were 42 pandas, including adults and cubs, overseas in 12 countries.

China has cultivated a global fascination with pandas into its diplomacy by sending the animals to overseas zoos where they have proven a wildly popular draw.

'Victory for conservation'

Conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) welcomed the increase in the giant panda numbers.

"The rise in the population of wild giant pandas is a victory for conservation and definitely one to celebrate," Ginette Hemley, WWF senior vice president of wildlife conservation, said in a release.

"This increase in the population of wild giant pandas is a testament to the commitment made by the Chinese government for the last 30-plus years to wild panda conservation," Hemley added.

Pandas, whose natural habitat lies in mountainous southwestern China, have a notoriously low reproductive rate and are under pressure from factors such as habitat loss.

Underscoring continuing worries, however, the SFC survey showed that 223 of the wild giant pandas, or 12% of the population, were classified as high risk, Xinhua said.

Read more on:    wwf  |  china  |  animals

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.