Panda Conservation and Charities
The heart warming news declared in September 2016 that pandas were no longer considered endangered is testament to the amazing work that panda conservation charities have done over the past few decades.
The official classification given by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (an environmental organization which keeps track of the conservation status of animals) is that pandas are now “vulnerable”. This is definitely a step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go to secure the safety of pandas in the long term.
One of the factors that makes an animal species “vulnerable” is the loss or destruction of their natural habitat, and this is certainly one of the key problems affecting the wild panda population today. According to the WWF, pandas in the wild are now constricted to bamboo forest within 6 mountain ranges in China's Gansu, Sichuan, and Shaanxi provinces. This has mainly been due to their habitat being destroyed to accommodate human population growth.
Another factor that makes the panda species vulnerable for extinction is that they reproduce rather infrequently, so it is hard for the panda population numbers to recover. This is one of the reasons that panda cubs being born in conservation centres or zoos is widely celebrated and reported in the media; every panda birth is a success.
It is also important to mention that many bamboo species are also endangered due to deforestation and climate change. It is possible that within the next 100 years, the rising temperatures in China could result in some types of bamboo becoming extinct, which would be very bad news for the wild panda population. Since bamboo makes up the majority of a pandas' diet, securing the future of bamboo is another important part of panda conservation.
There is much more information to be found about how the panda population is being protected, and so we've compiled a list of some of the most well known panda charities so that you can learn more. If you wish to donate to them or get involved in any other way, you will find links on their websites.
“To stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world's biological diversity. ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable”
"The mission of Pandas International, a nonprofit organization, is to ensure the preservation and propagation of the endangered Giant Panda. Pandas International provides public awareness and education, support for research, habitat preservation and enhancement, and assistance to Giant Panda Centers.”
“Honored as one of the “Global Top 500” environmental conservation entities by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)... Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is a world advanced nature conservation and education institution. It is committed to conservation education as well as giant panda breeding, using the support of its strong of science education expertise and human resources to play a significant role in spreading awareness about biodiversity conservation, represented by the endangered species of the giant panda”
Disclaimer- Panda Things is not affiliated with any of the above charities. The logos are used for illustrative purposes for the function of encouraging readers to learn more about the charitable work of these companies and to donate if they so wish.