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    After decades of work and conservation efforts, Chinese officials have said giant pandas are no longer endangered. The work done to save these creatures increased their population in the wild to 1,800. Cui Shuhong, director of the Department of Natural Ecological Protection of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said the species will be re-classified as vulnerable.

    China spent almost half a century assisting the population of one of its most famous animals. They created sprawling panda reserves across the countries mountain ranges. The International Union for Conservation of Nature already took the species off the endangered list in 2016 but China did not do the same. On Wednesday Cui said, “Large areas of natural ecosystems have been systematically and completely protected, and wildlife habitats have been effectively improved.”

    Cui explained that other rare or endangered creatures have been gradually recovering as well. Some of these animals include Siberian tigers, Amur leopards, Asian elephants, and the crested ibis. Giant pandas are more difficult to help because they are not the most efficient breeders. Female giant pandas are only able to become pregnant for 24-72 hours each year.

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