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Wild giant pandas in China are doing well.
That is according to the latest census of the animals. A census is the taking of a count of a population.
This one was taken by China's State Forestry Administration. It shows the panda population has grown by 268. The total is 1,864. The last survey ended in 2003.
Nearly three quarters of the pandas live in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The remaining pandas have been found in the neighboring Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.
The panda population rise "is a victory for conservation and definitely one to celebrate," said Ginette Hemley. She is senior vice president of wildlife conservation for World Wildlife Fund.
Hemley credits efforts by the Chinese government for the increase. The survey shows 1,246 wild giant pandas live within nature reserves. There are 67 panda reserves in China. That is an increase of 27 since the last survey.
The survey also points to economic development as a main threat to the rare animal. It says 319 hydropower stations and 832 miles of roads have been built in the giant panda's habitat.
WWF said it is the first time that large-scale projects such as mining and railroads get referenced in the survey. Traditional threats such as poaching are on the decline, WWF noted.
China began surveying its giant pandas in the 1970s. The latest census began in 2011. It took three years to complete.
The number of giant pandas in captivity grew by 211. That is more than double the previous survey figure, according to the census.
Critical thinking challenge: Why is it important for China to count its pandas?