Shaanxi Province, famous for its panda habitat in the Qinling Mountains, has seen its wild panda population grow in the past 14 years, local authorities said Wednesday.
The number of wild pandas in Shaanxi grew from 274 in 2003 to 345 today, an annual average growth rate of more than 2 percent, said Guo Daozhong, spokesman with the provincial forestry department.
Guo attributed the rising population to the increase in vegetation and protection of panda habitats.
With the development of breeding technology, the number of captive-bred giant pandas in Shaanxi has risen to 23.
Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species and live mainly in the mountains of northern Sichuan Province as well as southern Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.