Giant Pandas Are No Longer An Endangered Species
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The number of the animals in the wild now stands at 1,800, thanks to long term conservation projects and initiatives.
Cui Shuhong, head of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment's Department of Nature and Ecology Conservation, said the happy news "reflects their improved living conditions and China's efforts in keeping their habitats integrated".
It now means the giant pandas are classed as 'vulnerable' - a classification that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had already labelled the breed five years ago.
At the time however, this decision was debated by Chinese officials, who were concerned that classing the pandas as 'vulnerable' would lead to a relaxing of conservation efforts.
The government believed the animals were still under threat, but thanks to new initiatives, they now feel confident that numbers have grown enough for them to be classed as vulnerable.
Conservation efforts have included expanding habitats and boosting bamboo forests - which make up 99 per cent of their diet - to make sure the pandas have sufficient food supplies.
Over on social media and people are overjoyed at the news. One person tweeted: "Brilliant conservation news! Giant pandas no longer endangered, says China. Have reached 1800 in the wild. But still vulnerable, so no time for complacency."
Meanwhile another said: "Fantastic news that giant pandas are no longer endangered."
"Great news! Giant pandas vulnerable but no longer endangered, government says, as number in wild reaches 1,800. Story of saving and preserving pandas should be a template for all nature-related efforts," added a third.
And a fourth tweeted: "Giant pandas are no longer endangered!!! That's the news I wanted to read today."
"A great day for #Pandas & those of us who support them & the conservation of wildlife habitats," said another.