This video says about itself:
8 November 2016
Filmed and Edited by Paul Dinning – Wildlife in Cornwall
This video from China says about itself:
23 Baby Pandas Make Debut at southwest China Breeding Base
29 sep. 2016
“I think this is just about the cutest thing in the entire world. I never imagine there will be so many baby pandas in one place,” said a U.S. tourist named Aaron.
“I thought they were toys because they were lying there motionless. Then I realized they were cute baby pandas,” said Zheng Shuo, a tourist from central China’s Hunan Province.
This year, experts from the base also witnessed the birth of another four pandas overseas, raising the total number of the base’s newborn pandas to 27, a rare record since the establishment of the base.
The number of this year’s newborn pandas at the base has almost doubled that last year. Experts attribute this to the improvement in breeding technology.
“We used to mate the pandas by observing their behaviors to decide the timing for mating. But now we combine behavior observation with endocrine analysis to get more accurate timing, thus ensuring a fairly high breeding rate,” said Wu Kongju, animal management director at the base.
What’s more, among the 27 newborn pandas there are 10 pairs of twins, accounting for 74 percent of the total.
Since its establishment nearly 30 years ago, the base has bred 176 giant pandas, the world’s largest artificially-bred giant panda population.
Read more here.
This 7 June 2016 video is about giant pandas.
This video says about itself:
4 April 2008
From Tech Times:
Scientists In China Decode ‘Language’ Of Giant Panda
By Katherine Derla
November 7, 1:12 AM
Chinese scientists who studied the language of giant pandas at a conservation center in the Sichuan province were able to decipher 13 different vocalizations. Researchers found that male giant pandas make ‘baa’ sounds like a sheep when wooing mate. The female giant pandas then respond by making bird-like sounds (chirping) when they’re interested.
Baby pandas (cubs) make ‘wow-wow’ sounds when they’re sad. When they’re hungry, the make ‘gee-gee’ sounds to prompt their mothers into action. Cubs also say ‘coo-coo’ which translate to ‘nice’ in human language.
The research team recorded the giant pandas‘ vocalizations in various scenarios which included nursing the cubs, fighting and eating to analyze the voiceprints.
“Trust me – our researchers were so confused when we began the project, they wondered if they were studying a panda, a bird, a dog, or a sheep,” said China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda head Zhang Hemin, who lead the study. The research team has been analyzing panda linguistics since 2010.
Panda cubs learn to bark, shout, chirp, and squeak to express what they want. The researchers found that adult giant pandas are typically unsocial animals, making their mothers the only language teacher they ever had. When a mother panda won’t stop making bird-like sounds (chirping), she could be worried about her cubs. Like a dog, she barks when a stranger goes near her babies. In general, barking can be translated as “get out of my place.”
Understanding how giant pandas communicate can be valuable in their conservation, especially in their natural habitat in the wild. Findings coupled with conservation efforts will benefit future generations. Looking forward, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda is looking into the creation of a “panda translator” using a voice-recognition software.
In the ocean, bottlenose dolphins and calves whistle to call each other when they’re out of visual contact: Mom calls Junior using his signature whistle, and he echoes it back in acknowledgement. In the Venezuelan jungle, when green-rumped parrotlets and their offspring get separated, they do the same thing as the dolphins: here.
This video is called Life of Giant Pandas – Full Documentary.
From Associated Press today:
China’s latest survey finds increase in wild giant pandas
“The rise in the population of wild giant pandas is a victory for conservation and definitely one to celebrate,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation for World Wildlife Fund.
Hemley credited efforts by the Chinese government for the increase. The survey shows 1,246 wild giant pandas live within nature reserves. There are 67 panda reserves in China, an increase of 27 since the last survey.
“The survey result demonstrates the effectiveness of nature reserves in boosting wild giant panda numbers,” said Xiaohai Liu, executive program director for WWF-China.
But the survey also points to economic development as a main threat to the rare animal. It says 319 hydropower stations and 1,339 kilometers (832 miles) of roads have been built in the giant panda’s habitat.
WWF said it is the first time that large-scale infrastructure projects such as mining and railroads get referenced in the survey. Traditional threats such as poaching are on the decline, WWF noted.
China began surveying its giant pandas in the 1970s. The latest census began in 2011 and took three years to complete.
The number of giant pandas in captivity grew by 211, more than double the previous survey figure, according to the census released Saturday.
From the Conservation International Blog:
Protecting Panda Habitat Can Generate Community Income
China recently reformed its collective forest policy, allowing forest owners to grant management rights to outside enterprises. In a letter published last week in the journal Science, Li (Aster) Zhang and other CI scientists propose that “eco-compensation” would bring more income to local communities while protecting habitat for the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).
Camera trap photo of wild giant panda in Changqing National Nature Reserve. Thanks largely to efforts of the Chinese government, the wild panda populations have increased from fewer than 1,000 in the late 1980s to nearly 1,600 today. (© CI/ Changqing National Nature Reserve)
In early spring of 2010, my colleagues Russ Mittermeier, Biao Yang and I visited Changqing National Nature Reserve, one of the famous panda protected areas in Shanxi Province. There, we saw a young male panda in the wild. He was so shy, just showing his black-and-white coat for a couple of seconds before disappearing into the dense bamboo forest in front of us.
Beloved by the world for centuries, the panda once lived across large areas of China as well as parts of Vietnam and Myanmar. However, this magnificent creature is now confined to just 21,000 square kilometers (8,100 square miles) in a few isolated mountain forests in southwest China — an area smaller than El Salvador or the state of New Hampshire.
The Chinese government has made enormous strides to conserve the giant panda, including:
- Designating 63 panda reserves;
- Upgrading threatened habitats by reforesting or restoring native forests, and limiting human access;
- Increasing the number and conservation skills of forestry staff;
- Strictly banning hunting of the species; and
- Pioneering captive breeding techniques.
As a result of these efforts, the official count of giant pandas in the wild has increased from fewer than 1,000 in the late 1980s to nearly 1,600 today.
However, these achievements in giant panda conservation are now being jeopardized by recent tenure reform of China’s 167 million hectares (413 million acres) of collective forest as we reported in the recent issue of Science.
Under China’s current property law, the reform would enable collective forest owners to transfer the rights to their forest to outside private sector companies and timber enterprises. As a result, commercial logging, increased collection of firewood and non-timber forest products, unregulated tourism and certain types of industrial development may take place in collective forests at far higher levels than before.
These potential threats may cause deforestation, degradation or disturbance up to 345,700 hectares (more than 850,000 acres) of giant panda habitat, or 15% of what remains.
It’s true that the reform policy may benefit individual farmers through income earned by selling their collective forest for commercial use. However, other compensation approaches could pay local people as much or more while preserving these key corridors of panda habitat.
Back in July 2011, I remember discussing these issues with Russ and Biao. We were concerned about how these reforms might impact China’s panda population. The following year, Jonah Busch visited China and became involved, conducting an economic study to figure out how much “eco-compensation” funding would be needed to lease those collective forests for panda conservation.
China has spent more than US$ 100 billion on “eco-compensation” to buy back development rights from local communities in order to secure the continued provision of ecosystem services like freshwater provision and erosion prevention in Qinghai, Gansu, Inner Mongolia and some other provinces in southwest China. Under this system, communities sign long-term binding conservation agreements for forest habitat outside of existing reserves in exchange for monetary compensation from the government.
This system is already in practice in places like Kaihua in Zhejiang province, where the county government is paying landowners US$ 70 per hectare per year for 48 years to maintain 6,300 hectares (15,600 acres) of collective forest in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve.
Extending the eco-compensation program to giant panda habitat could reduce the threat that tenure reform poses to the giant panda while fulfilling the reform’s goal of increasing local economic benefits. Based on a simple model of the relationship between habitat area and giant panda population, we estimated that US$ 240 million in effective eco-compensation payments could prevent a decline in the wild giant panda population from 1,596 to 1,378. An additional US$ 2.25 billion for effective eco-compensation and habitat restoration could increase the population to 2,234 — a jump that would cause the species to be downgraded from Endangered to Vulnerable under the IUCN Red List criteria.
We hope that our letter to Science will raise more public awareness about this issue, as well as convince the Chinese government that it is possible to benefit local communities without further endangering one of the country’s most iconic species.
Li (Aster) Zhang is the technical director of CI-China.
A giant panda is believed to have faked her pregnancy in order to get better food, The Independent has reported: here.
A ‘Cousin’ of the Giant Panda Lived in What Is Now Zaragoza, Spain
(May 9, 2012) — A team of Spanish scientists have found a new ursid fossil species in the area of Nombrevilla in Zaragoza, Spain. Agriarctos beatrix was a small plantigrade omnivore and was genetically related to giant pandas, according to the authors of the study.
The fossil remains of a new ursid species, Agriarctos beatrix, have been discovered in the Nombrevilla 2 site in the province of Zaragoza, Spain. Researchers from Spain’s National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC) and the University of Valencia suggested that this plantigrade lived during the Myocene
period some 11 million years ago.
“This bear species was small, even smaller than the Sun bear — currently the smallest bear species. It would not have weighed more than 60 kilos,” as explained by Juan Abella, researcher at the Department of Paleobiology of the MNCN-CSIC and lead author of the study, published in the journal Estudios Geológicos.
Although it is difficult to determine its physical appearance given that only pieces of dental fossils have been found, scientists believe that it would have had dark fur with white spots mainly on the chest, around the eyes and possibly close to the tail.
“This fur pattern is considered primitive for bears, such as that of the giant panda whose white spots are so big that it actually seems to be white with black spots,” states Abella.
Agriarctos beatrix, from the Ursidae family and related to giant pandas, would have lived in the forest and could have been more sessile that those bears that tend to hunt more, such as the brown or polar bears. According to researchers, the extinct bear would have escaped from other larger carnivores by climbing up trees.
The expert highlights that “its diet would have been similar to that of the sun bear or the spectacled bear that only eat vegetables and fruit and sometimes vertebrates, insects, honey and dead animals.”
The lone bear
“We know that it was a different species to those documented up until now because of its morphological differences and the size of its teeth,” confirms the scientist. “We have compared it with species of the same kind (Agriarctos) and similar kinds from the same period (Ursavus and Indarctos).”
The reasons for its extinction have yet to be determined but “the most probable cause is likely to be the opening up of the forests giving way to more open, drier spaces and the appearance of similar yet larger and more competitive species,” says Abella.
The findings now date the appearance of this group related to giant pandas some two millions years later, from 9 million years ago to 11 million years ago. They could have originated in the north-east basins of the Iberian Peninsula.
See also here.