The Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), a species that has been in danger of extinction since before you were born, is out of hot water -- at least for now. On September 4, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reduced the panda's conservation status from "Endangered" to "Vulnerable."

In a recent assessment, the IUCN reported the panda's population in the wild had grown to at least 2,000 individuals, and was stable. This is a huge victory, and proof that dedicated conservation efforts can be successful at restoring a species on the brink.

Earlier in 2016, Toyota announced that it would be providing the IUCN with ongoing support over the next five years, funding the assessment of at least 28,000 species, like the panda. Many species the IUCN will research thanks to Toyota's generous grants are not as cute and cuddly as the panda, and you won't see them making headlines -- but this month's news proves how important the IUCN's work is.

Want to help wildlife like the panda continue to thrive?

Donations and volunteer work toward charitable causes are great ways to target a specific problem. Driving an efficient vehicle that reduces your greenhouse emissions and fuel consumption is a way to help all species, all at once. According to the IUCN, climate change could destroy nearly 40 percent of the bamboo forests giant pandas need for habitat in the next 80 years. Browse for new Toyota hybrids in our inventory at Toyota of Muscatine.

Categories: Green, New Inventory