a1 Sichuan Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Endangered Wildlife, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610064, China.
The giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca, endemic to China, is perhaps the most powerful and well-known global icon of biodiversity conservation, having been the symbol of WWF since it was formed in 1961. It is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Although there have been conservation successes for the giant panda in the last 2 decades, with 59 reserves established for the species, many conservation challenges remain and the species' status on the IUCN Red List has not changed since 1990, when it was first categorized as Endangered. Habitat fragmentation, synchronous bamboo flowering and die-off, and mismanagement of reserves are continuing challenges.