Did 2020 have a silver lining? To celebrate World Wildlife Day, Sarah Marshall tells the story of wildlife recovery in numbers.
1 Eastern black rhino
Eastern black rhino calf born in Grumeti Game Reserve, Tanzania, following the translocation of nine animals last year - a conservation triumph. The country's population has plummeted by 99 per cent since the 1970s to around 100 rhinos.
3 red and green macaw chicks
Wild red-and-green macaw chicks fledged in Argentina's Ibera National Park for the first time in more than 100 years. These vital seed dispersers are part of a bigger reintroduction programme masterminded by Rewilding Argentina Foundation to save the native Parana forest.
7 white-tailed sea eagles
White-tailed sea eagles released on the Isle of Wight in August, at their last known breeding site used more than 240 years ago. Over time, the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation hopes that 60 of Britain's largest birds of prey will take flight.
7 baby gorillas
Gorillas born in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, causing the Uganda Wildlife Authority to announce a baby boom. There is no solid explanation for the unprecedented number, more than double that of the previous year.
17 brown bear cubs
Orphaned brown bear cubs rescued, rehabilitated and returned to the wild by the Orphan Bear Rescue Centre in Russia, supported by Born Free. Often abandoned as newborns, cubs are bottle-fed by biologists and taught how to survive in the wild.
26 Tasmanian devils
Tasmanian devils reintroduced to the Australian mainland after an absence of several hundred - or possibly thousands - of years. Captive-bred by the Aussie Ark organisation, these meat-eating marsupials were released into a wildlife sanctuary in New South Wales with assistance from Avengers star Chris Hemsworth.
48 Ethiopian wolf pups
Ethiopian wolf pups born, boosting an ailing population of the world's rarest canid by a factor of 10 per cent. Just 500 individuals are spread largely between Ethiopia's Bale and Simien mountains. Disease, habitat loss and human persecution are the main culprits for the species' demise, but numbers like this could mark the beginning of a turnaround.
58 Antarctic blue whales
Sightings of critically endangered Antarctic blue whales off the coast of South Georgia by the British Antarctic Survey, heralding a return to their historic summer feeding ground. Only one was seen between 1998 and 2018, a legacy of the whaling industry boom of the 1900s.
Elephants born in Kenya's Amboseli Park, boosting further a population that has doubled in 30 years to reach almost 35,000. Good rains, improved anti-poaching efforts and a reduction in tourism are credited with this year's success.
2489 wild lions
Wild lions recorded in Kenya last year, according to a government report - an increase of 25 per cent since 2010. Across Africa, however, the king of the jungle is under threat, with a population of fewer than 20,000 - 10 per cent of what it was a century ago. The Kenya Wildlife Service has launched a 10-year action plan to conserve lions and spotted hyenas, which have been identified as the predators most at risk.
4,000 grey seal pups
Grey seal pups crowding beaches at Blakeney National Nature Reserve in Norfolk, England. Just 25 were born in 2001. The success is down to low levels of disturbance and few natural predators. Forty per cent of the world's 300,000 grey seal population thrives in British and Irish waters.
Climate benefits in New Zealand
There's also evidence that a worldwide reduction in pollution as a result of people staying home is having a positive impact on climate change.
Climate scientist James Renwick says he is hopeful there will be a reduction in carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions this year.
"It's hard to say how significant the impact will be, but it could be. We're at the beginning of a crucial decade."
Privacy puts pandas in the mood
When the lights went out and everyone disappeared, giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le stunned zookeepers at Hong Kong's Ocean Park by finally mating for the first time in 10 years.
Coincidence? Amy Cheung, from the park's public affairs department, stresses that the park had closed many times before "to minimise human disturbance" without any such aphrodisiac effect - but there is good reason to believe these clumsy bedmates were enjoying some rare privacy.
Although Ying Ying failed to conceive, Ai Bao and Le Bao at Everland amusement park in South Korea were more successful, giving birth to a 7oz pink nugget last July - a first for the country.
There was more good news at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington DC, where 22-year-old Mei Xiang became America's oldest giant panda to give birth. The conception was a little less natural (she was artificially inseminated) but it was a miracle that she managed to see the pregnancy to full term.
"Given her age, she had less than a 1 per cent chance of giving birth," says Brandie Smith, the zoo's deputy director.
Female pandas come into heat just once a year, in March and April for a few days - which happened to be the start of lockdown last year. Who knows whether the absence of crowds had some bearing on the panda baby boom.
Whatever the reason, chief veterinarian Don Neiffer agrees that the results have created a feelgood factor. "In the middle of a pandemic, this is a joyful moment we can all get excited about."