All those tireless man-hours spent watching pandas have sex and masturbate have finally paid off, pandas are no longer endangered!
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has announced that thanks to determined conservation efforts that have boosted panda populations, the iconic animal has been reclassified from an “endangered” to a “vulnerable” species.
Rather than celebrate its triumph over Darwinism, China actually isn’t too pleased with the reclassification. China’s State Forestry Administration (SFA) said on Monday that it was simply too early to downgrade the giant panda’s conservation status, stressing that there are still threats to its survival and insisting that pandas ought to remain endangered
“If we downgrade their conservation status and our protection work is reduced, our achievements would be quickly forgotten,” the administration said.
At the end of 2014, China had 1,864 giant pandas living in the wild, an increase from around 1,100 in 2000, with an additional 422 in captivity. In the 1980s, the panda population dropped below 1,000 due to poaching and deforestation.
But then Beijing stepped in to help the useless but adorable animal, going all out to protect and promote the panda. Researchers have kept close watch on the creature’s sex habits and even tried to learn its language. Most recently, China announced the creation of a national park just for pandas in the border area of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.
According to the BBC, the secret to China’s success lies in the bamboo forests of central and western China. Bamboo makes up 99% of a panda’s diet (the other 1%? Human flesh!) and they need to eat 12kg to 38kg of the stuff each day to survive. Over the past two decades, China has recreated and repopulated the bamboo forests that were cut down in previous generations. In 1992, there were only 13 panda reserves in China; now there are 67. Nearly two-thirds of all wild pandas live on these reserves.
Meanwhile, Beijing has also exported its iconic animal to zoos across the world as an adorable and lucrative gesture of diplomatic goodwill.
While things are certainly going well, China argues that significant challenges remain with climate change threatening to eliminate one-third of the panda’s natural habitat. But hey, one crisis at a time.
Take that, Darwin!