Since the first Panda Census carried out by the Chinese government Forestry Administration
between 1974 and 1977, wild Panda populations have rebounded, even though they are not up to original levels yet.
While there were around 1,100 pandas in the wild in the late 1980s, that number had increased to more than 1,800 by 2014. Since the turn of the millennium, captive pandas are also counted in the census. Their numbers increased from 164 in 2003 to 376 in 2014. All captive pandas in the world and their offspring are considered “on loan” from China. Since China is the only country where Pandas occur in the wild, the country has been capitalizing on the widely adored animal, using loans strategically in a pattern that has been referred to as “Panda diplomacy”.
With Pandas in the wild and in captivity, large-scale conservation
and breeding programs are underway. A new Panda reserve three times the size of U.S. National Park Yellowstone is currently in the planning stages in China.
Panda Censuses start every ten to 15 years and also last four to five years, so the next one can be expected to end between 2025 and 2030.