The giant panda remains the world's most threatened bear species, according to a new World Conservation Union (IUCN) report released November 12, 2007.<br> <br> The assessment found that six of the world's eight bear species—75 percent—are threatened with extinction, with Asia and South America being "the areas most in need of urgent conservation action."<br> <br> Confined to south-central <a href="http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/places/countries/country_china.html">China</a>, the giant panda is the only bear species that the IUCN lists as endangered, meaning it faces "a very high risk of extinction in the wild."<br> <br> Approximately 1,600 pandas remain, according to a recent survey by the Chinese State Forestry Administration and the conservation organization WWF. Despite "the establishment of nearly 60 panda reserves, a ban on logging, and widespread reforestation programmes," habitat destruction and degradation are still the panda's greatest enemies, the new IUCN report says.
The giant panda remains the world's most threatened bear species, according to a new World Conservation Union (IUCN) report released November 12, 2007.

The assessment found that six of the world's eight bear species—75 percent—are threatened with extinction, with Asia and South America being "the areas most in need of urgent conservation action."

Confined to south-central China, the giant panda is the only bear species that the IUCN lists as endangered, meaning it faces "a very high risk of extinction in the wild."

Approximately 1,600 pandas remain, according to a recent survey by the Chinese State Forestry Administration and the conservation organization WWF. Despite "the establishment of nearly 60 panda reserves, a ban on logging, and widespread reforestation programmes," habitat destruction and degradation are still the panda's greatest enemies, the new IUCN report says.
Photograph by Gary Vestal/Getty Images

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