Fact Question 11

This question was asked to the public in 14 countries in the Gapminder Misconception Study 2017 »


The question

In 1996, tigers, giant pandas, and black rhinos were all listed as endangered. How many of these three species are more critically endangered today?

  • A: Two of them
  • B: One of them
  • C: None of them



Correct answer is C. None of the three species are classified as more critically endangered today than they were in 1996, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The tiger (Panthera tigris) was classified as Endangered (EN) in 1996, and it still is; see IUCN Red List[1]. But after a century of decline, tiger numbers in the wild are on the rise, according to WWF and Platt (2016). According to IUCN Red List[2], the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) was classified as Endangered (EN) in 1996, but in 2015, new assessments of increasing wild populations resulted in a change of classification to the less critical status Vulnerable (VU). The black rhino (Diceros bicornis) was classified as Critically Endangered (CR) and still is; see IUCN Red List[3]. But the International Rhino Foundation says many populations in the wild are slowly increasing.

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