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Zoologists have long hailed saving the giant panda the brink of extinction as a conservation success story. decades, the panda has been the "poster animal" all endangered species. It is even the logo of the World Wildlife Fund. The International Union Conservation of Nature removed it the endangered species list in 2016, although it remains "vulnerable". Many conservationists are now concerned this has come a cost to other mammals, especially those sharing its habitat. A study published the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution found that the leopard, snow leopard, wolf and Asian wild dog have almost disappeared the majority areas in which the giant panda lives.

Researcher Professor Sheng Li, from Peking University, commended the efforts to protect the giant panda but lamented this has come the expense of some of China's larger, carnivorous mammals. Since panda conservation areas were established the 1960s, Asian wild dogs have disappeared 95% protected reserves, leopards from 81%, wolves 77%, and snow leopards from 38%. Professor Li said his findings "indicate the insufficiency giant panda conservation protecting these large carnivore species". However, he added: "Failing to safeguard these large carnivore species does not erase the power the giant panda as an umbrella that has effectively sheltered many other species."

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