China starts counting endangered pandas using panda droppings

By on Jun 28, 2011 in Animals, Asia Comments

China has started counting its endangered pandas on Sunday, June 26, 2011 and is using panda droppings for the “once every decade” panda census.

Giant panda file photo
Image Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

According to Xinhua News Agency on its official website on Monday, the China panda counting began on Sunday with a pilot survey in the Wanglang National Reserve in Mianyang City.

Yang Xuyu, Sichuan Province forestry administration officer told Xinhua that the place is being believed to have the highest number of pandas in the entire country.

“About 70 trackers are currently being trained at the nature reserve and will start their work in two or three days.” Yang was quoted on the report, adding that the pilot survey is expected to end by early next month.

Mr. Yang noted that by that time, the national panda census shall start and will mark the fourth time the country will be counting pandas, which started in 1970.

As of this writing, around 70 trackers are now being trained at the said reserve to collect panda droppings and will start their work in two or three day’s time.

On the other hand, Wanglang National Reserve director Chen Youping told Xinhua that DNA analysis will be made to the panda droppings that will be collected.

“This will allow zoologists to track individual pandas and accurately estimate the number of pandas living in the wild.” Youping said on the report.

Apparently, this panda census was said to be also a way to know their age structure, living conditions, and habitat change.

Back in 2000 when the last national panda census was held, there were reportedly 1,596 wild pandas in China and 1,206 of them were living in Sichuan, which includes the 230 pandas living in the Wanglang reserve and in the regions nearby.

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