Good news! More pandas!
Good news! More pandas! Seven panda cubs, all born in 2012, at the Chengdu Panda Base in Chengdu, in southwestern China's Sichuan province (AP photos)
Good news! More pandas!
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Wild giant pandas in China are doing well.

The latest census by China's State Forestry Administration shows the panda population has grown by 268 to a total of 1,864 since the last survey ending 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 rise in the population of wild giant pandas is a victory for conservation and definitely one to celebrate," said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation for World Wildlife Fund.

Hemley credited 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, an increase of 27 since the last survey.

"The survey result demonstrates the effectiveness of nature reserves in boosting wild giant panda numbers," said Xiaohai Liu, executive program director for WWF-China.

But 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 infrastructure 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 and took three years to complete.

The number of giant pandas in captivity grew by 211, more than double the previous survey figure, according to the census.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is it important for China to count its pandas?

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Assigned 20 times

  • AmyG-Ver
    3/06/2015 - 09:16 a.m.

    I think that it's really good that Pandas are doing well right now. Also I think that it's really good that they're reproducing and making more pandas because this way they're not as in danger as they were before of becoming extinct. Especially because I love Pandas I hope that everything continues to work out good and that they hopefully never become extinct.

  • BrownAmari-DiB
    3/06/2015 - 09:56 a.m.

    It is important for China to count its pandas because so they can keep track. An see if Chinas numbers with pandas went down or up. Also they would be able to tell if pandas are becoming extinct or not.

  • nygels-DiB
    3/06/2015 - 10:32 a.m.

    I love pandas they are my favorite animal even though i never saw one they are the best of all animals. They remind me of my mom some how

  • AlmodovarJoshua-DiB
    3/06/2015 - 11:20 a.m.

    I think its awesome that the pandas are starting to multiply because there super cool creatures and they deserve to live just as much as we do. I'm hoping that the population one day will be triple what it is now. And so we don't have to worry about the pandas becoming gone forever because they are too cute!

  • BolinKatlin-DiB
    3/06/2015 - 11:36 a.m.

    because pandas are very rare and they are starting to put them in captivity so they last longer and so they dont did as fast and so people cant kill them and so people that go to china can see pandas if they have never seen them before.

  • nicholas.jones07
    3/06/2015 - 12:38 p.m.

    I think it is great that the pandas are doing well. I also think it is great that people have started to act responsible for the giant pandas. Also the fact that the fact that poaching has gone down too. It is great that the panda population has gone up 16% too. I think that this species will not go extinct any time soon.

  • NashMcComsey-Ste
    3/06/2015 - 01:09 p.m.

    I'll always be excited to see more pandas. Hopefully, within my lifetime, the panda will not be lost as a species, but rather grown in population to the point where other countries besisdes china can lay claim to them.

  • SaraiR-Ver
    3/06/2015 - 01:30 p.m.

    I think it's important because pandas are important. Because if you think about it pandas play an important part in the cycle of nature and the food chain, and without them it would throw us off, like even though we don't like spiders they do help us in a way, because they eat mosquitoes, and without them we would have a lot more than we need. I think it's good that China is finally thinking about what they do before they do it when it comes to habits for the pandas etc.

  • MaddieW-Ver
    3/06/2015 - 02:25 p.m.

    I'm happy that instead of losing species were gaining, we don't need anymore extinct animals. It's sad that lots of animals have been extinct , but it's good more pandas wpare coming.

  • DaniC-Ver
    3/06/2015 - 02:34 p.m.

    Well I think it's good that they're counting the pandas that remain in China and keep track because I heard before something about them hunting them down for their fur to make coats, the factories smoke are hurting the pandas and I just think it's really good that they're protecting them and keeping track. If you think about it, there's only 1,000 some pandas left on the Earth. That's not a lot and we have to protect what we have. I love pandas honestly, they could be mean, but they could be playful too and have to treat them like humans because they're an animal. I feel if we didn't realize about them, maybe we wouldn't have any in the next 1 or 2 years honestly. So instead of losing them, were gaining them and that's good.

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