Time filter

Source Type

News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: en.prnasia.com

CHENGDU, China, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On February 18th, Kazakhstanian singer Dimash Kudaibergen finished his first public welfare show in Chengdu. Dimash participated in the "Trip to Chengdu" program as the first "Trip to China" ambassador. He made close interaction with pandas, felt local folk culture in Kuanzhai Alleys and tasted authentic Sichuan food. Dimash arrived in Chengdu on schedule in the evening of February 17th. Having stayed up all night to record the HNTV program, Singer, he seemed a bit tired. Although he was yet to start his trip in Chengdu, the young singer indicated sincerely that fans in Sichuan had deeply moved him; he was very thankful for their care and support and hoped there would be more chances for him to be in Chengdu and meet them. As the first "Trip to China" ambassador, Dimash went to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on February 18th and realized his years-long dream to see pandas with his own eyes. Accompanied by breeders, Dimash got a chance to hug a panda and feed it with apples and steamed corn bread. One remarkable thing was that Dimash was given special permit into the "Moon Maternity Ward" to see the panda cubs closely. Later, a representative of the Base presented a souvenir to Dimash. He said excitedly that it was an unforgettable trip in which he not only got to see and interact with baby pandas, but also learned a lot about panda breeding. He called on people to care for and protect giant pandas and other endangered animals. After visiting the panda base, Dimash hoped to see more of China, the mystical and great civilization. Dimash then went to the Kuanzhai Alleys to feel the local culture and folk music of Chengdu. Deep in the alleys, Dimash was surprised to meet the "happy couple", Mr. Bao Guo'an and his wife who once appeared on the stage of the program "Dream of China" and were then singing and playing musical instruments. The performance of students and teachers from Chengdu Paotongshu Primary School astonished Dimash. He interacted with the students at the time. As a gift to the lovely kids and fans, he offered to sing a song for them, which caused a burst of applause. Dimash was crowned as the "No. 001 Ambassador" of the "Trip to China". At the first stop of the program Chengdu, Dimash got the honor to be the first "Ambassador" of the "Trip to China and Find Beauties of Sichuan" activity jointly recommended by the Organizing Committee and the Information Office of Chengdu Municipal People's Government and received the certificate from the Organizing Committee. According to Dimash, it was a great pleasure for him to be the "First Ambassador of Trip to China" in the world. "I like China very much. Thank you, Chengdu, for giving me such precious memories of interacting with pandas closely. I hope that I will have opportunities to visit more places in China. I love China," said Dimash. "I'm in China!" With the theme of "Sharing the Beauty of China with the World", "Trip to China" is a promotional activity, guided by the External Promotion Bureau of the State Council Information Office of the P.R.China, supported by the Sichuan Provincial Commission of Tourism Development and jointly held by the China Intercontinental Communication Center and associated organizations. By broadcasting the experience of foreign stars, internet celebrities and volunteers through TV, internet and media platforms at home and abroad, this program aims to enable the world to know more about China in terms of its history, culture, landscape, folk customs, development and multi-ethnic culture. In this trip, Dimash not only felt the cultural characteristics of Chengdu but also got a deep understanding of Chinese culture. From the experience, Dimash has drawn many inspirations. He told us that he would do more meaningful things for the music cultural exchange between Kazakhstan and China in the future. Sichuan, located in the hinterland of southwestern China, is of a long history, beautiful landscape and profound Bashu culture and is reputed as the "Land of Abundance". The giant panda, the "friendly ambassador" of China, has actively promoted the friendship and mutual understanding between China and foreign countries. Therefore, Sichuan was selected as the first stop of the "Trip to China" as it is the home of giant panda. The opening ceremony of the "Trip to China and Find Beauties of Sichuan" was planned to be held in Chengdu on Friday, Feb. 24. A series of affiliated activities will be successively carried out in other cities to fully demonstrate the charm of China to the world. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dimash-kudaibergen-visited-chengdu-as-the-first-trip-to-china-ambassador-300410553.html


News Article | September 13, 2016
Site: phys.org

Every morning, with the dawn light shimmering on their patchy coats the young residents of a panda breeding centre in southwestern China shred their favourite breakfast—bamboo. The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding was set up in 1987 when the animals were considered to be under increasing threat of extinction—a catastrophic scenario that seems to have been avoided for now. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last week reclassified the giant panda from "endangered" to "vulnerable" on its "Red List" of threatened species. There were 1,864 adult giant pandas in the wild in China in 2014, a 17 percent increase in 10 years, according to the IUCN. "It is a positive message, it's not all gloom and doom," said James Ayala, a researcher at the base, in Sichuan province. "But I still think it is too early to consider it a true success... we're not in the clear yet. "It's like if your great grandma gets out of intensive care, you don't celebrate, she's still very old, very weak, and the chance of seeing her back in care is very likely." The IUCN's general criteria are less applicable to pandas, he said, as their wholly bamboo diet means their survival is totally dependent on habitat, and climate change poses a huge threat. Zhang Hemin, of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP), also in Sichuan, called the IUCN's reclassification "premature". The wild giant panda population is split into 33 different groups, 18 of them consisting of fewer than a dozen pandas, leaving them at "high risk of collapse", according to Zhang. Their separation also raises the risks of inbreeding, hence the importance of captive breeding programmes, which often use artificial insemination—pandas are renowned for their sexual apathy. Known as Papa Panda in China, Zhang runs an ultra-modern "panda hospital", home to Pan Pan, who at 31—equivalent to 100 in human years—is regarded as the oldest panda living in captivity and has sired at least 130 descendants. China has around 420 pandas in captivity, according to official figures, and the Chengdu Research Base has seen more than 200 births in total, with over 20 so far this year. Some of the cubs are then sent on to zoos overseas—a lucrative earner for authorities, who rent the animals out rather than giving them away. "A target goal for us will be to have a large number of captive pandas to maintain genetic diversity so we could release them into the wild," Ayala said. Beforehand, the animals are trained to recognise predators and socialise with their peers, but he acknowledged only seven to 10 pandas have been freed in a decade, saying the process is fraught with difficulty. The animals raised in captivity "aren't ready to be released", said Yang Fuqiang, senior advisor at environmental NGO the Natural Resources Defense Council, adding: "We are far from understanding the behaviour and characteristics of pandas." Moreover their bamboo forest habitat shrank dramatically during the last century as China developed economically. Bamboo reserves were first established in China only in 1992, and there are now 67, protecting nearly 70 percent of the 1.4 million hectares of wild bamboo forest, according to the Forestry Administration. But with global warming, more than a third of bamboo forests could disappear within 80 years, the IUCN warns. The plant itself can be a risk factor, with most of its species having a life cycle that sees them flowering and dying off every 20 to 40 years —and they can take years to start regrowing. "Each time this happens, the population is extremely vulnerable because the pandas can't find any food," said Ayala. The Chengdu facility was itself set up after around 250 giant pandas starved to death in the mountains of Sichuan in the 1970s and 80s, when he said that "researchers found pandas emaciated, walking like zombies". "The priority should always be to focus on improving the habitat for the wild animals and expand it," said Ayala. "If we don't do this, then there is no point in conserving the giant panda." Explore further: Largest genetic survey to date shows major success of giant panda breeding programs


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

CHENGDU, China, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On February 18th, Kazakhstanian singer Dimash Kudaibergen finished his first public welfare show in Chengdu. Dimash participated in the "Trip to Chengdu" program as the first "Trip to China" ambassador. He made close interaction with pandas, felt local folk culture in Kuanzhai Alleys and tasted authentic Sichuan food. Dimash arrived in Chengdu on schedule in the evening of February 17th. Having stayed up all night to record the HNTV program, Singer, he seemed a bit tired. Although he was yet to start his trip in Chengdu, the young singer indicated sincerely that fans in Sichuan had deeply moved him; he was very thankful for their care and support and hoped there would be more chances for him to be in Chengdu and meet them. As the first "Trip to China" ambassador, Dimash went to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on February 18th and realized his years-long dream to see pandas with his own eyes. Accompanied by breeders, Dimash got a chance to hug a panda and feed it with apples and steamed corn bread. One remarkable thing was that Dimash was given special permit into the "Moon Maternity Ward" to see the panda cubs closely. Later, a representative of the Base presented a souvenir to Dimash. He said excitedly that it was an unforgettable trip in which he not only got to see and interact with baby pandas, but also learned a lot about panda breeding. He called on people to care for and protect giant pandas and other endangered animals. After visiting the panda base, Dimash hoped to see more of China, the mystical and great civilization. Dimash then went to the Kuanzhai Alleys to feel the local culture and folk music of Chengdu. Deep in the alleys, Dimash was surprised to meet the "happy couple", Mr. Bao Guo'an and his wife who once appeared on the stage of the program "Dream of China" and were then singing and playing musical instruments. The performance of students and teachers from Chengdu Paotongshu Primary School astonished Dimash. He interacted with the students at the time. As a gift to the lovely kids and fans, he offered to sing a song for them, which caused a burst of applause. Dimash was crowned as the "No. 001 Ambassador" of the "Trip to China". At the first stop of the program Chengdu, Dimash got the honor to be the first "Ambassador" of the "Trip to China and Find Beauties of Sichuan" activity jointly recommended by the Organizing Committee and the Information Office of Chengdu Municipal People's Government and received the certificate from the Organizing Committee. According to Dimash, it was a great pleasure for him to be the "First Ambassador of Trip to China" in the world. "I like China very much. Thank you, Chengdu, for giving me such precious memories of interacting with pandas closely. I hope that I will have opportunities to visit more places in China. I love China," said Dimash. "I'm in China!" With the theme of "Sharing the Beauty of China with the World", "Trip to China" is a promotional activity, guided by the External Promotion Bureau of the State Council Information Office of the P.R.China, supported by the Sichuan Provincial Commission of Tourism Development and jointly held by the China Intercontinental Communication Center and associated organizations. By broadcasting the experience of foreign stars, internet celebrities and volunteers through TV, internet and media platforms at home and abroad, this program aims to enable the world to know more about China in terms of its history, culture, landscape, folk customs, development and multi-ethnic culture. In this trip, Dimash not only felt the cultural characteristics of Chengdu but also got a deep understanding of Chinese culture. From the experience, Dimash has drawn many inspirations. He told us that he would do more meaningful things for the music cultural exchange between Kazakhstan and China in the future. Sichuan, located in the hinterland of southwestern China, is of a long history, beautiful landscape and profound Bashu culture and is reputed as the "Land of Abundance". The giant panda, the "friendly ambassador" of China, has actively promoted the friendship and mutual understanding between China and foreign countries. Therefore, Sichuan was selected as the first stop of the "Trip to China" as it is the home of giant panda. The opening ceremony of the "Trip to China and Find Beauties of Sichuan" was planned to be held in Chengdu on Friday, Feb. 24. A series of affiliated activities will be successively carried out in other cities to fully demonstrate the charm of China to the world. SOURCE The Organizing Committee and the Information Office of Chengdu Municipal People's Government


Shan L.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Hu Y.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Zhu L.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Yan L.,CAS Institute of Zoology | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2014

The captive genetic management of threatened species strives to preserve genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding to ensure populations remain available, healthy, and viable for future reintroduction. Determining and responding to the genetic status of captive populations is therefore paramount to these programs. Here, we genotyped 19 microsatellite loci for 240 captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) (∼64% of the captive population) from four breeding centers, Wolong (WL), Chengdu (CD), Louguantai (LGT), and Beijing (BJ), and analyzed 655 bp of mitochondrial DNA control region sequence for 220 of these animals. High levels of genetic diversity and low levels of inbreeding were estimated in the breeding centers, indicating that the captive population is genetically healthy and deliberate further genetic input from wild animals is unnecessary. However, the LGT population faces a higher risk of inbreeding, and significant genetic structure was detected among breeding centers, with LGT-CD and WL-BJ clustering separately. Based on these findings, we highlight that: 1) the LGT population should be managed as an independent captive population to resemble the genetic distinctness of their Qinling Mountain origins; 2) exchange between CD and WL should be encouraged because of similar wild founder sources; 3) the selection of captive individuals for reintroduction should consider their geographic origin, genetic background, and genetic contribution to wild populations; and 4) combining our molecular genetic data with existing pedigree data will better guide giant panda breeding and further reduce inbreeding into the future. © 2014 The Author 2014.


Zhao S.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Zhao S.,Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Transomics Biotechnologies | Zheng P.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Zheng P.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 20 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2013

The panda lineage dates back to the late Miocene and ultimately leads to only one extant species, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Although global climate change and anthropogenic disturbances are recognized to shape animal population demography their contribution to panda population dynamics remains largely unknown. We sequenced the whole genomes of 34 pandas at an average 4.7-fold coverage and used this data set together with the previously deep-sequenced panda genome to reconstruct a continuous demographic history of pandas from their origin to the present. We identify two population expansions, two bottlenecks and two divergences. Evidence indicated that, whereas global changes in climate were the primary drivers of population fluctuation for millions of years, human activities likely underlie recent population divergence and serious decline. We identified three distinct panda populations that show genetic adaptation to their environments. However, in all three populations, anthropogenic activities have negatively affected pandas for 3,000 years. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Charlton B.D.,Zoo Atlanta | Zhihe Z.,Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding | Snyder R.J.,Zoo Atlanta
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2010

Animals often use acoustic signals to assess the physical characteristics of conspecifics in reproductive contexts. Here, we manipulated two components of male giant panda bleats, the formant frequencies (an acoustic cue to size) and the fundamental frequency, to examine male and female responses to bleats characterized by different combinations of these acoustic components. Our results revealed that male giant pandas had greater looking responses and tended to respond faster to bleats with higher formants simulating small adult males. In contrast, females had greater looking responses to bleats with lower formants simulating large adult males. In addition, there was no interaction between the value of the fundamental frequency and the observed response of male and female giant pandas to formant frequency variation in male bleats. Taken together these findings indicate that formants are functionally relevant to male and female giant pandas, and suggest that the level of the fundamental frequency in male bleats does not significantly affect how receivers perceive formant frequency variation. Furthermore, the sex differences in response direction are consistent with the notion that giant pandas could be using formants as cues to the caller's sex, through the correlation with body size, during the breeding season. © 2010.


Perdue B.M.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Snyder R.J.,Zoo Atlanta | Zhihe Z.,Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding | Marr M.J.,Georgia Institute of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Biology Letters | Year: 2011

Sex differences in spatial cognition have been reported for many species ranging from voles to humans. The range size hypothesis predicts that sex differences in spatial ability will only occur in species in which the mating system selects for differential range size. Consistent with this prediction, we observed sex differences in spatial ability in giant pandas, a promiscuous species in which males inhabit larger ranges than females, but did not observe sex differences in Asian small-clawed otters, a related monogamous species in which males and females share home ranges. These results provide the first evidence of sex differences in spatial ability in the order Carnivora, and are consistent with the range size hypothesis. © 2010 The Royal Society.


Charlton B.D.,Zoo Atlanta | Charlton B.D.,University of Vienna | Swaisgood R.R.,San Diego Zoos Institute for Conservation Research | Zhihe Z.,Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding | Snyder R.J.,Zoo Atlanta
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology | Year: 2012

Although androgen-dependant traits are predicted to signal overall male quality, no study has examined the response of a nonhuman animal to variation in a known acoustic cue to male androgen levels (steroid hormones that are key drivers of male sexual behaviour). Here, we use a single-speaker approach to present male and female giant pandas with re-synthesised male bleats representing callers with high and low androgen levels. Our results revealed that male and female giant pandas had significantly greater-looking responses, spent more time pacing, and were faster to respond to playbacks of bleats simulating high androgen males. When we analysed the sexes separately, a slightly different response pattern was revealed: whereas males and females still had significantly greater-looking responses and were faster to respond to bleats simulating high androgen males, only male giant pandas tended to spend more time pacing. These findings suggest that vocal cues to male androgen levels are functionally relevant to male and female giant pandas during the breeding season, and constitute the first demonstration that a nonhuman animal could be using a vocal signal to assess male hormonal state. We go on to discuss the ecological relevance of signalling androgen levels in this species' sexual communication and the possible application of our results to conservation breeding. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


PubMed | Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2017

Luteinizing hormone (LH) is one of the main pituitary hormones that regulate ovulation, however its role has not been studied in giant panda. In this study, we developed an ELISA method for the detection of panda urinary LH. We analyzed urinary hormones of 24 female pandas during 36 breeding periods, we found females could easily be impregnated if the first mating occurred within 10hours after LH peak. We also found the patterns of the ratios of urinary LH and progestagen in pandas that bred and successfully gave birth were significantly different from those that bred but failed to give birth. These data was the first to provide the urinary LH profiles during the estrous and gestational periods in pandas, and demonstrated that the appearance of the urinary LH peak indicated the timing of ovulation. The LH detection together with estrogen analysis makes the window for successful mating narrower than previously reported. Moreover, detection of urinary LH and progestagen can be used to discriminate between pregnancies and pseudopregnancies/miscarriages in the species. Thus, our findings suggest that LH not only plays a critical role in regulating ovulation but also plays an important role in maintaining pregnancy in the giant panda.


News Article | October 23, 2015
Site: www.sciencenews.org

When a panda baby is born, it looks more like a naked mole-rat (minus the teeth) than an adult panda. It’s hairless, as small as a stick of butter and lacks the distinctive black-and-white coloring of its species. But in the weeks that follow its birth, the baby grows, gains hair and black spots and soon reaches what I call the “adorable stuffed animal” phase of life. It turns out, though, that the baby panda isn’t the only thing that is changing during those early weeks. Mom’s milk is, too, a new study finds. And that changing diet may help to prepare baby for the bamboo diet it will eat later in life. It’s common in kangaroos and other marsupials, which give birth to tiny babies that develop inside a pouch, for a mother’s milk to change dramatically as the young animal grows. In placental mammals, though, which tend to give birth to babies that are more fully developed, such changes are not common. But pandas give birth to such underdeveloped babies — just one one-thousandth the size of mom — that researchers suspected that a panda mom’s milk undergoes changes similar to those seen in marsupials. Kate Griffiths of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and colleagues analyzed milk collected from six mama pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China. The team started by comparing the panda milk to that of several other species, including dolphins, elephants, grizzly bears, polar bears and an anonymous woman from Scotland. Elephant milk was the oddest of the bunch, with little similarity to that of any other species analyzed. But pandas proved their right to the name “bear” as their milk was most similar to that of grizzlies and polar bears. But panda milk exhibited many changes over the first few weeks after birth, the researchers report October 21 in Royal Society Open Science. After a panda is born, the milk it receives is rich in immunoglobulins, proteins that help protect the infant against pathogens and are thought to control the baby’s gut microbiome. That “may be particularly relevant to giant pandas in their progression from a milk-based to a predominantly vegetarian diet despite an anatomically carnivorous digestive system,” the researchers write. As those immunoglobulin proteins tail off, others take their place, such as caseins, which provide a source of amino acids, as well as proteins that transfer vitamins and fats. The types of sugars changed over the weeks, with mom producing some forms of saccharide polymers that can’t be digested by baby but are thought to prevent bacteria from colonizing the gut. The concentration of lactose — the milk sugar that causes problems for many adult humans — quickly declined in the milk. It is thought that panda cubs can’t digest lactose after about three weeks of age, so the decline in lactose makes sense. But the finding shows why hand-rearing cubs on cow milk, which has a lot of lactose, is a bad idea, the researchers note. The team also found one odd chemical in the milk in the first week or two — phenol sulfate. The researchers think that the chemical is a by-product of mom starving herself in the first weeks after her cub is born. Without food entering her digestive tract, gut bacteria may be scavenging nitrogen from their own proteins and producing toxic phenols as a result. Gut cells may be turning that into nontoxic phenol sulfate, which then gets incorporated into mom’s milk. When she starts eating again, the chemical disappears. Marsupial milk goes through even more dramatic changes than panda milk. But because mammal milk isn’t well studied, the researchers didn’t have a similar time series of milks from other placental mammals to which they could compare the panda milk. That means they can’t say for certain whether these changes are much slower than in other animals. However, the researchers suspect that panda milk changes more slowly, simply given how immature baby pandas are when they arrive and how much more growing they’ve got to do.

Loading Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding collaborators
Loading Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding collaborators