JOHANNESBURG – Pandas are no longer endangered species, but this is not cause for celebration. Pandas may have been knocked off the endangered list but according to WWF, that has had the beloved giant panda as their mascot for years, the panda is still lying at vulnerable levels.
According to the WWF the decision is the recognition of the hard work of the Chinese government, local communities, nature reserve staff and WWF over many years however their future is not yet secure. Here are four reasons why pandas are being kept off the endangered list:
The future of pandas still remains uncertain as their forests they depend on face challenges such as climate change and deforestation. Therefore, educating and partnering with local communities on the importance of preserving wildlife habitats is needed as well as government protection in China. Pandas still remain at critical stages due to poorly planned infrastructure of their habitat.
People can contribute to the longevity of pandas by donating directly to WWF which all donations go towards conservation projects in China. Alternatively, you can visit your nearest panda reserve or Adopt a panda through the WWF. The Chinese government and WWF are working together to reduce the impact of tourism that disturbs their life cycle. Another way is through education and awareness campaigns.
3. Breeding programs:
Contrary to popular belief, the broads in Atlanta don’t contribute to the continued offspring of pandas as Panda rapper Desiigner suggests, but rather the San Diego Zoo which has successfully bred multiple generations of pandas that have grown into adulthood and are able to carry and birth offspring. Due to this and other global efforts, the WWF states that the panda population has increased by 17% in the past decade.
4. Panda reserves:
Panda reserves have been crucial to their survival as they house majority of the pandas found in the wild. Reserves also protect the bamboo forests that pandas rely on as a food source and act as shelters for other species while working with locals in nearby villages and towns surrounding the panda habitat to protect it.