To be honest, there's nothing much to be happy about in 2021.
However, this piece of news sure put a big smile on our face.
Slowly but surely growing
As a result of decades of tireless conservation work, giant pandas are officially off the endangered species list!
This piece of fantastic news has been confirmed by Cui Shuhong from China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Xinhua
According to Cui, the total giant panda population in the wild has risen to 1,800.
As such, the gentle giants’ classification have been upgraded to ‘vulnerable’.
Chinese officials credited the maintenance of forest reserves filled with bamboo across the country as a major reason for the increase in population.
On top of that, the country's 'panda diplomacy' programmes all around the world has ensured that giant pandas can breed outside of China, thus increasing the giant panda population worldwide.
While we would love to have more giant pandas around, the increase in population is still a pretty good sign, considering that only there were only 1,100 of them living in the wild and 422 in captivity back in 2000.
Pandas don't breed a lot
The increase in population may not be a lot, but it is a welcomed sign as giant pandas are known to be an animal species that is difficult to breed.
According to Smithsonian Magazine
, female pandas only ovulate once a year and their eggs are only available for a maximum of 72 hours to be fertilised.
To make matters worse, conservationists have to be on a constant lookout for a female which is ready to mate, and a male which is in the mood.
On top of that, it does not help that some male pandas don't even know how to do the deed in case artificial insemination needs to be done.
It’s also hard to detect a panda fetus using ultrasound, so pregnancy in some pandas will only be discovered at a later stage of the pregnancy.
So, yes; making baby pandas are hard work, so, well done China! We do hope that the giant panda population will continue to increase.