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Thread subject: Newsday's Article on Pandas
Name Date Message
Celeste 12/04/05 04:08 pm Long Island's Newsday featured an article on Pandas.......Some interesting points for those of you who do not have access to Newsday.
Currently , for the first time, there are two healthy cubs, one in the San Diego zoo, and the one that we are all in love with in the National Zoo, Wash.D.C. In the wild, a census released last year, states that there are 1600 pandas in the mountains of China, (40% more than they thought).

Pandas mate fine in the wild, but in captivity do not do as well. When the US decided to work closely with the Chinese gov't 10 years ago things started to change. In captivity there are now 185 giant pandas. One of their findings was that Panda mothers have twins 50% of the time. In the wild the mother focuses on only one panda, and the other is left to die. In captivity, they discovered that they could rotate the twins between the mother and a nursery, allowing both babies to thrive.

There are even more ways to encourage the birth of pandas through insemination....(first one born and survived to adulthood was in 1999) Recently in August, through insemination, a cub Su Lin was born....Su Lin was named after the first cub ever brought to the West by Ruth Harkness in 1936....the book I recently read called "The Lady and the Panda tells this really interesting story how a woman before her time accomplished bringing Su Lin to the US.

The captive population is very important as the wild one is very vulnerable. It is suggested that when 300 pandas are living in captivity, it would be safe to reintroduce them to their natural habitats.

Problem is preserving enough forest where pandas can live in peace. There has been some progress. Fifteen years ago there were 13 panda reserves. Now there are 60!

The zoos in the US who have pandas, pay the Chinese gov't 1 million a year for panda conservation.
FOB Webmaster 12/04/05 06:26 pm Thanks for this! It's very interesting.

I just saw a piece on CNN about a guy at the Atlanta Zoo who is trying to work out a more equitable arrangement for US zoos participating in the Chinese panda program.

The San Diego, National, and Atlanta zoos have never generated enough revenue via the pandas to come close to matching the millions of dollars they spend to keep them. Also it's been reported that zoos outside the US pay a lot less for their pandas.

I think it's great that the US is contributing research and money to the Chinese panda conservation program (assuming that's where all the money goes) but it would be nice if the pandas were more affordable and if we were allowed to keep the ones born in the US.

Lisa Stevens, the curator at the National Zoo, said the ultimate goal of the US programs is to have a breeding pool based in the US. From her comments I gathered she meant a pool of pandas from various US zoos that mated within the US.

There has also been some research done by Michigan State Univ. -- using recently declassified satellite maps -- that indicate that the panda preserves in China are being invaded by people and communities. Apparently the Chinese don't define a "reserve" the way we do. For example, the researchers state the human population within the Wolong Reserve is thriving and has grown 70 percent. Not so good for the pandas who can't go elsewhere.

Here's the link about the study:
Madeline 12/05/05 01:22 am Thanks Celeste for pointing that article out in Newsday. I haven't read the paper today, but now I know what to look for. It's ashame we have to pay so much money each year just to have the Pandas (on loan) to us. Are all the adult pandas on loan for 10 years?

I see that in New Jersey there is open season on the Black Bear. It's too bad they are treated this way, when it is the humans who encroach on their territory. A news reporter said that there was a bear on a golf course, and when yelled at it, it turned and ran up a tree. How sad it's come to this
I guess it's human nature. Sharing isn't inherint, it's learned.
Cecilia 12/06/05 01:06 pm I stumbled across the Newsday article last night when I was gathering up the papers. I was actually glad that they only gave the url for the San Diego Zoo web cam because it's hard enough to get to see Tai as it is. The photos were really cute.

The black bear situation in New Jersey is so sad. There is just no where left for them to go and many of them have become practically tame from living near people who leave food for them...and now the hunters will kill them. It's getting to the point I can barely stand to read or watch anything about wildlfe because it's usually such bleak news.
Melanie 12/07/05 11:41 am Could be worse - you could eb the woman whose family moved from NJ to PA and has dicovered that an 800 lb black bear has picked her front porch to hibernate beneath!

Unfortunately, bears learn too quickly that humans are a source for food (meaning garbage cans, freezers etc...). and when an animal population outstrips the resources available to support it, it leads to starvation and disease. Until we can figure out how to administer birth control, hunting is not as inhumane as it appears.

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006