Reasons to celebrate

Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in a tree. Wolong Panda Reserve, Sichuan Province, China. / ©: Bernard De Wetter / WWF-Canon
Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in a tree. Wolong Panda Reserve, Sichuan Province, China.
© Bernard De Wetter / WWF-Canon
Over the centuries giant pandas have been killed and their habitat plundered, until by the mid 1970s, there may have been as few as 1,000 left in the wild.

Armed with this fact, WWF supporters stood up and said that they would not let the panda go. So, with their backing, in 1980 WWF began its first projects in China.

Since then, we have been able to stem the decline in panda numbers and put in place long-term solutions for pandas in the wild.
It is thanks to WWF supporters that there are now 62 giant panda reserves in China, a giant panda habitat conservation network has been established and 13 key panda migration corridors are being maintained.

These are major steps towards meeting WWF’s target and the Chinese government’s commitment to protect three million hectares of panda forest by 2015.

And, it is those same supporters - and many more millions of new supporters - who are behind our dedication to the creation and improvement of government and business policies that are giant panda-friendly.

Yet, despite all the work that has been done, there are still only around 1,600 giant pandas in the wild.

For every step forward that you help us take, roads, dams, mining leases and even mass tourism threaten to take us many steps backwards.

How long can the giant panda survive in the wild? It all depends on the actions that we take right now.