Zoologists have long hailed saving giant panda from brink of extinction as conservation success story. For decades, the panda has been "poster animal" for all endangered species. It is even on logo of the World Wildlife Fund. International Union for Conservation of Nature removed it from endangered species list in 2016, although it remains "vulnerable". Many conservationists are now concerned this has come at cost to other mammals, especially those sharing its habitat. study published in journal Nature Ecology and Evolution found that leopard, snow leopard, wolf and Asian wild dog have almost disappeared from majority of areas in which the giant panda lives.
Researcher Professor Sheng Li, from Peking University, commended efforts to protect the giant panda but lamented this has come at expense of some of China's larger, carnivorous mammals. Since panda conservation areas were established in 1960s, Asian wild dogs have disappeared from 95% of protected reserves, leopards from 81%, wolves from 77%, and snow leopards from 38%. Professor Li said his findings "indicate insufficiency of giant panda conservation for protecting these large carnivore species". However, he added: "Failing to safeguard these large carnivore species does not erase power of giant panda as umbrella that has effectively sheltered many other species."