XI'AN, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- The number of the Qinling giant pandas is rising, authorities have said.
The Qinling giant panda is a subspecies of giant panda first recognized in 2005. It has a smaller and rounder skull, shorter snout and less fur than the more familiar Sichuan subspecies.
The number of the giant pandas has risen from 109 in the 1980s to 345 currently, authorities said Monday at a cultural event promoting the pandas, in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
The Qinling Mountains are the natural boundary between north and south China.
There are on average 10 wild Qinling giant pandas for every 100 square km in the Qinling area, according to Xue Jianxing, head of Shaanxi's provincial forestry bureau.
"Not only has the number of the Qinling giant pandas risen, but the area of their habitat has also been expanding," Xue said. "Their habitat has increased from 1,037 square km in the 1980s to 3,600 square km."
The Shaanxi management administration of a national giant panda park was established at the event. According to the administration, the Qinling section of the park covers about 7.6 percent of the 57,000-square-km Qinling Mountains.