There are very few positive news stories about endangered animals. Headlines like: “We just killed the last male rhino” and “Did you know that this bird is facing extinction” is not exactly uncommon in various newspapers.
This is a good, yet sad, example of the type of news that we too often get served:
But things are quite different with the cutest animal in the world – the wild panda, which mainly are living in North China.
According to numbers from WWF, the wild panda population has increased with 268 animals over the last ten years. That makes the total number now 1864.
Table of Contents
- Graph and statistics: How has the development been in the wild panda population from 1970 – 2020?
- Creds to the Chinese government
- How has The Giant Panda been Treated Throughout History?
- Where Can I See Wild Pandas in The Wild?
- Conclusion – where is the wild panda population going?
Graph and statistics: How has the development been in the wild panda population from 1970 – 2020?
The easiest way to illustrate this is to use a graph:
These are the numbers that have been gathered from official statistics in China (oh yes, I can actually read Chinese). Moreover, they have also been verified by other websites like Statista.com.
|Wild panda population
|Panda population in captivity
What do these graphs tell us?
As you can see from the graph and table, there is actually a correlation between the number of pandas in the wild and pandas in captivity. This might come as a surprise to some people. However, it’s actually quite logical. The panda is a Chinese animal – and the Chinese government are the only ones keeping the panda in captivity in various camps.
These “camps” are not zoos. They are in fact “panda centers” with only one goal: to make the panda population increase as much as possible. You can learn more about the interesting “panda breeding program” in the paragraph below. 🙂
Creds to the Chinese government
The panda is very often used by the Chinese government as a symbol of peace. They have often given pandas away to other countries as a sign of peace and friendship. In order to keep the animal population at a good level, the government have built a lot of protected areas. They have also kicked off a “Panda Breeding Program” which has delivered good results.
If you have 24 minutes right now, it might be a good idea to have a look at this Panda documentary that shows how China are working to increase the panda population:
How has The Giant Panda been Treated Throughout History?
There are a lot of “fun facts” in relation to The Giant Panda.
Did you know that…?
1) The Roosevelt brothers were the first foreigners allowed to shoot a wild panda? This happened on 13th April 1929, which should be considered a quite sad day. After all: there is no point shooting them just for the sake of it, is it?
2) 1974, the first DNA tests were taken of a Giant Panda. Scientists conclude that they are a part of the bear family. This should have been quite obvious just by looking at them, shouldn’t it?
3) In 1998, the first strong punishment for killing Giant Pandas happened in China. A farmer got 20 years prison sentence for killing 3 pandas.
4) In 2015, China outlined a new plan to protect all the Giant Pandas living in the wild. The program, which is called the Giant Panda Protection Strategy, started in 2015 and lasts until 2025.
Where Can I See Wild Pandas in The Wild?
Only in China. China is the only place that Giant Pandas have their natural habitat. And don’t expect to see them in the city center of Shanghai or Beijing!
In fact, they can only be found in 3 regions: Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Gansu. But please note that you need to do some serious mountain climbing to find them. Pandas are quite shy and try to hide in the woods as much as they can.
This short movie clip shows how Pandas are living in the wild:
Conclusion – where is the wild panda population going?
It’s going up. There’s nothing that would indicate that the panda population will start to decrease.
China is a country that is very proud of their pandas. In addition to that, they are currently rolling out a wide range of other activities to become a more eco-friendly country. Therefore, I would assume that giving the pandas the very best possibilities to grow would be highly prioritized by the Beijing politicians.