Yesterday it was announced that after 50 years of conservation work the Giant Panda is no longer an endangered species. Inspired By Elle is proud to celebrate with WWF, as their work has clearly been instrumental in achieving this goal. The Giant Panda is still considered "vulnerable" to extinction, but the "endangered" status has been removed given the increase in numbers of this species.
It is not often that humanity is able to save a species, but the status of the Giant Panda has now lowered from 'endangered' to 'vulnerable'. This does not mean the battle is over as we still do not want these beautiful bears to face such a fate ever again. We must continue to keep the species on the map to ensure even their 'vulnerable' status disappears too. The Giant Panda will remain dependent on conservation efforts to allow the species to overcome the challenges of climate change by moving across landscapes to find new habitats in which to prosper.
The Chinese government has undoubtably worked hard, forming international partnerships to build reserves where bamboo growth is promoted, creation of breeding programmes and enforcing legislation on poaching.
The numbers of Giant Pandas are growing thankfully at a healthy rate, where in 2004 there were 1,596 in the wild in China, this number swelled to 1,864 in 2014. The current number is 2,060, which is certainly very promising for the Millennium.
I simply could not resist this image of a baby Panda as this is where all life begins.
Why is conservation important?
Simply put when we lose a species they cannot be brought back, like dinosaurs they become relics of a time passed, where we only have images to remind us. Equally, each time a species becomes extinct, the ecology of the planet changes as from each tiny animal and person, each forms a part of that fine balance that keeps our planet safe.
What can each one of us do?
The first key is awareness, unless we recognise there is a problem then we cannot fix it. Many people have no awareness of the devastation on-going across our planet, or the reasons for this.
The reasons can be many, from loss of habitat of certain species due to man seizing their natural home areas, often for industrial reasons but even for homes for ourselves. Sometimes animals become endangered because man uses them for food or as pets, removing them again from their natural habitat. Climate change is also playing a huge part on the environment, and terrain where these animals live. We as consumers demand products, which are wrapped in plastics, which are harmful to the environment, placing chemicals into the eco system. Our demand and use of toxic products is unrelenting, causing damage at a rapid rate.
Next, we must accept responsibility for the environment and our impact on the planet. Unless we do so, we will continue to lose parts of the eco system. Our oceans are dying at a rapid rate due to pollution, and the skies are full of smog and chemicals.
Finally, we must care and share the planet responsibly. This may seem obvious, and to a degree it is. However, some of the luxuries that we take for granted, may need reconsideration and an adjustment of our attitude. We display a selfish attitude, where often we act in isolation of others. It is important that as resources become scarce and the planet takes the toll of years of incessant demand, that we learn to care and share!
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