Giant pandas could be on the brink of extinction, despite what conservationists claim.
According to a new study in the journal Ecological Modelling, scientists from Beijing Forestry University, found that panda habitats have become so fragmented that there is a "very high" chance of extinction.
The International Union of Conservation of Nature recently claimed that pandas were no longer officially "endangered," but rather, more "vulnerable" to extinction.
The IUCN also changed the animal's level to "high risk", as opposed to "very high" as stated previously.
The study found that only 55 per cent of panda groups have less than ten members, and only 33 per cent had more than 30 – this is seen as the minimum number to ensure the population's survival.
The research paper read: “We cannot just focus on the overall number of wild pandas and the total area of habitat, ignoring habitat fragmentation and population isolation.
“The giant panda survival crisis is complicated because of the co-existence of protection and interference.
“Habitat fragmentation and human disturbance were the most important factors that negatively affected ecosystem stability and increased the survival risk of pandas.
"Thus, panda survival crisis remains serious,” the paper added.