"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

And Now For Some Good News


China has upgraded giant pandas from endangered to vulnerable.

Decades of conservation work in China have paid off for the giant panda, whose status has been upgraded from "endangered" to "vulnerable" owing to a population rebound, according to officials.

The improvement for the giant panda was announced on Sunday as part of an update to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the world's most comprehensive inventory of plants and animals.

The latest estimates show a population of 1,864 adult giant pandas. Although exact numbers are not available, adding cubs to the projection would mean about 2,060 pandas exist today, the IUCN said.

"Evidence from a series of range-wide national surveys indicate that the previous population decline has been arrested, and the population has started to increase," the IUCN's updated report said.

However, it's not all good:

The IUCN Red List includes 82,954 species - both plants and animals - and undergoes a major update every four years.

Almost one third - 23,928 - are threatened with extinction, it said.

Compared with previous years, even more species are under threat.

Carlo Rondinini, mammal assessment coordinator at Sapienza University of Rome, said almost 28 percent of mammals are threatened with extinction, three percentage points more than in the previous mammal assessment in 2008.

"A takeaway point we would like to emphasise is we are not journeying in the right direction with respect to species conservation," Andersen said.

"We are losing species at a faster pace than we have ever done."

The Field Museum of Natural History, in its exhibit "Evolving Planet," lists the present as the "Sixth Major Extinction Event." They're not being alarmist.

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