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Chen S.-L.,Conservation and Research Center | Yeh W.-C.,Taiwan Forestry Research Institute

Sarasaeschna chiangchinlii sp. nov. collected from Daxi, Taoyuan County in northern Taiwan is described and diagnosed. Judging from male penile structure, this species is considered to belong to the pryeri-group of its genus. It is easily distin-guished from all known congeners in having peculiar sickle-shaped cerci in male. The habitats of S. chiangchinlii are mainly shaded brooks in lowland areas, which are exceptional for its Taiwanese relatives. Distributional maps and a key are also provided for the four species of Taiwanese Sarasaeschna. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press. Source

Swaisgood R.R.,San Diego Zoos Institute for Conservation Research | Wei F.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Wildt D.E.,Conservation and Research Center | Kouba A.J.,Memphis Zoo | And 2 more authors.
Biology Letters

The giant panda is a conservation icon, but science has been slow to take up its cause in earnest. In the past decade, researchers have been making up for lost time, as reflected in the flurry of activity reported at the symposium Conservation Science for Giant Pandas and Their Habitat at the 2009 International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) in Beijing. In reports addressing topics ranging from spatial ecology to molecular censusing, from habitat recovery in newly established reserves to earthquake-induced habitat loss, from new insights into factors limiting carrying capacity to the uncertain effects of climate change, this symposium displayed the vibrant and blossoming application of science to giant panda conservation. Collectively, we find that we have come a long way, but we also reach an all-too-familiar conclusion: the more we know, the more challenges are revealed. While many earlier findings are supported, many of our assumptions are debatable. Here we discuss recent advancements in conservation science for giant pandas and suggest that the way forward is more direct application of emerging science to management and policy. © 2010 The Royal Society. Source

Li S.,Peking University | Mcshea W.J.,Conservation and Research Center | Wang D.,Peking University | Shao L.,Wanglang National Nature Reserve | Shi X.,Wolong National Nature Reserve

We report on the use of infrared-triggered cameras as an effective tool to survey phasianid populations in Wanglang and Wolong Nature Reserves, China. Surveys at 183 camera-trapping sites recorded 30 bird species, including nine phasianids (one grouse and eight pheasant species). Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus and Temminck's Tragopan Tragopan temminckii were the phasianids most often detected at both reserves and were found within the mid-elevation range (2400-3600 m asl). The occupancy rate and detection probability of both species were examined using an occupancy model relative to eight sampling covariates and three detection covariates. The model estimates of occupancy for Blood Pheasant (0.30) and Temminck's Tragopan (0.14) are close to the naïve estimates based on camera detections (0.27 and 0.13, respectively). The estimated detection probability during a 5-day period was 0.36 for Blood Pheasant and 0.30 for Temminck's Tragopan. The daily activity patterns for these two species were assessed from the time/date stamps on the photographs and sex ratios calculated for Blood Pheasant (152M: 72F) and Temminck's Tragopan (48M: 21F). Infrared cameras are valuable for surveying these reclusive species and our protocol is applicable to research or monitoring of phasianids. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 British Ornithologists' Union. Source

Harris T.R.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Harris T.R.,Conservation and Research Center | Chapman C.A.,McGill University | Chapman C.A.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Monfort S.L.,Conservation and Research Center
Behavioral Ecology

The influence of diet and food distribution on the socioecology of group-living species has long been debated, particularly for primates. It has typically been assumed that folivorous primates experience relatively little feeding competition due to the abundant, widespread nature of their food, freeing them to form large groups in response to predation, to disperse with relative ease, and to have egalitarian female social relationships. Recent studies, however, have come to different conclusions about the extent to which folivorous primates are limited by food and experience food competition and how these factors affect folivore socioecology. To better understand the selective pressures that diet places on folivores, we investigated how 2 small highly folivorous groups of colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza) in Kibale National Park, Uganda, responded behaviorally and physiologically to a steep reduction in availability of their most important foods. The monkeys decreased their reliance on their 2 most frequently eaten food species and increased their daily path length, number of feeding patches visited/day, size of individual feeding areas, percentage of time spent feeding, and dietary diversity. They also showed evidence of physiological costs, in that lactating females' urinary C-peptide levels (i.e., insulin production) declined as top foods became scarce, and parasite loads slightly, but significantly, increased in 2 of 3 adult females examined. These results suggest that highly folivorous primates, even in very small groups, may experience behavioral and physiological effects of food limitation, within-group scramble competition for food, and possibly substantial selective pressures during periods of food scarcity. Source

Crawled News Article
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/earth.xml

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. The 2014 census of the World Wildlife Fund said there are 1,864 giant pandas living in the wild, majority of which are found in Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces in China. Towards the end of 2013, there were 375 giant pandas living in conservation centers or zoos around the world. Two hundred captive pandas are living at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. Saving giant pandas from the brink of extinction have reached a tipping point. On the other side of the world, scientists gear up to clone one male and one female panda at the Roslin Embryology, a biotechnology firm at Edinburgh Science Triangle in the United Kingdom (UK). Tian Tian and Yang Guang, who live in the 82-acre Edinburgh Zoo, are last two giant pandas left in the UK. The team who successfully cloned Dolly the sheep will also be cloning the two pandas.

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