The global giant panda population, a species emblematic of wildlife conservation efforts, stands at a critical 1,864 in the wild. The primary threat to their survival is habitat loss. In response, China has made significant strides to protect these beloved animals. The country has established 67 national reserves, covering 53.8% of panda habitats and protecting 66.8% of the wild panda population.
A majority of the world's giant pandas reside within the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries in China. This expansive area includes seven nature reserves, nine parks, and the notable Bifengxia Panda Base. Despite these efforts, 66 pandas remain in captivity, spread across various countries and zoos.
In the United States, all pandas have been on loan from China. By the end of 2024, only four will remain, housed at Zoo Atlanta. Japan hosts nine pandas; only one is owned by the Japanese government, with the rest on loan from China. Australia participates in a conservation and breeding program, hosting two pandas, Wang Wang and Fu Ni, at the Adelaide Zoo.
The Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, Austria, is home to two giant pandas and has successfully bred five cubs. In Belgium, the Pairi Daiza Zoo houses five pandas, also on loan from China, with an agreement to return any offspring. Denmark's Copenhagen Zoo boasts a new $24 million enclosure for its two Chinese pandas, Mao Sun and Xing Er.
France collaborates with China on an international giant panda research project, centered around the Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aigan. The Edinburgh Zoo in the United Kingdom has hosted Yang Guang and Tian Tian since 2011, though they are scheduled to return to China in 2023.
Additionally, giant pandas are found in captivity across several other nations, including Canada, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, and Taiwan. Each location contributes to the global effort to understand, protect, and sustain the giant panda population, a symbol of international wildlife conservation.