Giant Pandas Are No Longer Endangered

ENVIRONMENT

Efforts to save the giant panda, a worldwide symbol of wildlife conservation, are paying off: The iconic black-and-white bear is no longer endangered. (Nat Geo News)

Use our newly updated video study guide to learn more about China’s favorite threatened species, and consult our handy downloadable chart to learn the difference between ‘vulnerable’ and ‘endangered’.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit, including today’s chart and maps.


Discussion Ideas

  • Giant pandas are no longer an endangered species! Does this mean pandas are no longer at risk of extinction?

 

categories-criteria-endangered

Click to enlarge and download!
Illustration by Mary Crooks, National Geographic

  • The IUCN criteria used to assess the status of a species includes five key factors. What are they? Use our chart for some help, and our encyclopedia for a fuller explanation.
    • Population reduction rate. This describes the rate at which the numbers of a specific species in a specific location is shrinking.
    • Geographic range. This is broken into two factors: extent of occurrence and area of occupancy.
      • extent of occurrence. An extent of occurrence is the smallest area that could contain all sites of a species’ population. If all members of a species could survive in a single area, the size of that area is the species’ extent of occurrence.
      • area of occupancy. An area of occupancy is where a specific population of that species resides. This area is often a breeding or nesting site in a species range.
    • Population size. This describes the actual number of mature individuals of a species.
    • Population restriction. This calculation evaluates a species’ population size and its area of occupancy.
    • Probability of extinction in the wild. Biologists, anthropologists, meteorologists, and other scientists have developed complex ways to determine a species’ probability of extinction. These formulas calculate the chances a species can survive, without human protection, in the wild.

 

 

  • Why do some conservationists think the downgrade from endangered to vulnerable is premature?

 

This beautiful map depicts the current range and protected areas of giant pandas. Map by Lauren C. Tierney, National Geographic

This beautiful map depicts the current range and protected areas of giant pandas. Click to enlarge!
Map by Lauren C. Tierney, National Geographic

 

TEACHERS TOOLKIT

Nat Geo: Giant Pandas, Symbol of Conservation, Are No Longer Endangered

IUCN Red List: Ailuropoda melanoleuca (Giant Panda)

Nat Geo: China’s Giant Pandas video study guide

Nat Geo: Endangered Species Categories and Criteria chart

Nat Geo: What is an endangered species?

Nat Geo: What is the species range of the giant panda? map

One response to “Giant Pandas Are No Longer Endangered

  1. This is great.

    2016-09-07 14:48 GMT+02:00 Nat Geo Education Blog :

    > carylsue posted: “ENVIRONMENT Efforts to save the giant panda, a worldwide > symbol of wildlife conservation, are paying off: The iconic black-and-white > bear is no longer endangered. (Nat Geo News) Use our newly updated video > study guide to learn more about China’s favorit” >

    Like

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