Giant Pandas 101
The population of endangered wild giant pandas has risen some 17 percent in just over a decade, the Chinese government reported this week, news that a major wildlife group cites as evidence that the famous mammal, a cultural icon for China and a conservation icon for much of the world, is on the rebound.
Those statistics say there are now 1,864 wild giant pandas living in central China’s Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu Provinces. That’s up from 1,596 estimated animals in a 2003 report, the last time giant pandas were surveyed.
However, some in the conservation community suggest that the new numbers may be due in part to wider surveying and an improvement in surveying techniques, though few doubt the upward