EDINBURGH Zoo chiefs have told of their delight after giant pandas were taken off the endangered list thanks to aggressive conservation efforts.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature said in a report that the panda is now classified as “vulnerable” instead of “endangered”, reflecting its growing numbers in the wild in southern China.
It said the wild panda population jumped to 1864 in 2014 from 1596 in 2004, the result of work by Chinese agencies to enforce poaching bans and expand forest reserves.
Edinburgh Zoo has been home to two giant pandas – Tian Tian and Yang Guang – since 2011 and experts hope the pair will produce offspring.
Iain Valentine, director of giant pandas at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs Edinburgh Zoo, said: “RZSS is delighted to see the giant panda reclassified.
“This is testament to benefits of a collaborative approach both in the field and through research across the world, something which RZSS helped foster at Edinburgh Zoo in 2013.”