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New Study Says Up to 3,000 Pandas May Be in the Wild

A new study reports good news about the endangered Giant Pandas, saying their population in the wild may be about double the size of previous estimates.

Scientists from Britain's Cardiff University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences say there could be as many as 3,000 Giant Pandas in the wild. Previous studies put the population at about 1,600.

The study is published in the June 20 issue of the journal Current Biology. It says scientists used a new method to study the DNA of the feces of the majestic black-and-white mammals.

Pandas can weigh up to 113 kilograms, primarily eat bamboo and are found in mountainous areas in China. They have been threatened due to habitat destruction and other factors.

The article said the estimate assumes that the Chinese government now directly protects about 71 percent of wild pandas, and that strict conservation and protection measures will continue.