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Three Species That Are No Longer Endangered

    There are three species that have recently gone from endangered to vulnerable: The giant panda, the snow leopard, and the west Indian manatee.

Giant Panda
    The giant panda was considered endangered since 1990. After lots of hard work on China’s part, Giant pandas are no longer endangered and are now considered “vulnerable”.

Panda notes
  • Now vulnerable
  • Population is increasing while the habit is decreasing
  • Habit decrease is 17% from 1988-2013
  • Habit is fragmented
    • Reasons for fragmented habitat:
    • Climate change
    • Roads because pandas don’t Jaywalk
    • - Wenchuan earthquake -70% of loss between 2001-2013
  • Population reached 1,864 adults
    • In 1980’s there were 1,200 pandas
  • Pandas are confined to 6 mountain ranges
  • 30 isolated groups of pandas
  • Ideas to help the panda habitat:
    • Improve connectivity with the fragment of habitat
    • “Ecological red lines” places dedicated to the pandas
    • Don’t let people in the national panda parks
Snow Leopards
    Snow leopards have been endangered since 1986. In an effort to increase awareness about snow leopards, 2015 was named year of the snow leopard.

Snow Leopard notes
  • Lives in Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
  • Lives in cold, high mountains
  • 4,000-10,000 snow leopards in the wild
  • Still endangered in some parts of the world (Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan)
  • Changed from endangered to vulnerable quite a bit later than they should’ve.
    • Because they had trouble getting an accurate number of snow leopards, this issue was fixed because they started using better technology.
  • Habitat in Indian Himalayas is about 35,000 sq mi: 13,000 of those 35,000 are actually good habitat for the snow leopards
  • In the early 1990’s the snow leopard population was around 200-600 in the 25 protected areas
  • In 2013, leaders from all the countries that snow leopards are found in came together and signed the Bishkek Declaration which acknowledges the importance of snow leopards and their habitat
West Indian Manatees
    West Indian Manatees have been endangered since 1973. Florida has made an effort to put laws in place that protect the West Indian Manatee population in their waters.

West Indian Manatee notes
  • Florida Population of manatees is 6,300
  • In 1991, the population was 1,267 in Florida
  • Threats to the West Indian manatees include illegal poaching, water vehicles, and changes to the water they live in.
  • Manatees are sensitive to cold water.
  • In the recent winters, manatees have been found clustered near water outflows of power plants instead of moving to warmer waters--in 2016, there was much more recorded manatee deaths due to cold stress syndrome because of this
  • Manatees move slowly so it’s hard for them to move out of the way of a boat, which is why lots of the laws to protect manatees include slowing down your boat in water with manatees
  • Between 1995 and 2005, 38% of recorded manatee deaths were caused by boat collisions, water control devices, fishing equipment, and toxic chemicals.
  • Some people worry about taking West Indian manatees off of the endangered species list because they will no longer be protected by laws protecting endangered species, but there are still laws in Florida protecting them like the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978 and the US Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1912
    I think it’s really awesome that places are making an effort to increase the populations of their endangered species and are doing it successfully. Unfortunately, species that are not on the endangered species list are no longer protected by laws that helped them get off of the list which seems like an unproductive way of doing things. A good way to fix this is to have laws that helps protect all animals.


Snow Leopards