Thirty-one giant panda cubs were born worldwide this year
and 25 have survived, according to Zhang Zhihe, director of the
Chinese Committee of Breeding Techniques for the Giant Panda.
Zhang made the remarks on Monday during the opening ceremony of
the five-day 18th Annual Meeting of the Chinese Committee of
Breeding Techniques for the Giant Panda held in the capital of
Southwest China's Sichuan Province.
Panda protection organizations like the China Conservation and
Research Center for the Giant Panda in the Wolong Nature Reserve
and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding have helped
to achieve high cub birth and survival rates of the black and white
According to the committee's work report for 2007, the Wolong
center had 15 cubs and the Chengdu base, had 10, eight of which
have survived. Zhang adds international breeding, research and
cooperative programs were successful this year.
Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, Austria, has succeeded in giant
panda breeding for the first time. In addition, artificial semen
collection was done in the Atlanta, Memphis and National zoos in
the United States, and in Japan's Adventure World in Shinahama,
preparing a reserve of frozen semen for future breeding.
In September, a pair of giant pandas from the Chengdu base flew
to the Madrid Zoo in Spain, starting a giant panda breeding project
between China and Spain.
"A pair of giant pandas from Wolong has been selected to live in
Australia and we are making preparations for their departure,"
He added more facilities and space for scientific research,
management and conservation education have been constructed
The third phase of the Giant Panda Ecological Park in the
Chengdu base with an investment of 350 million yuan (US$47 million)
from the Chengdu municipal government was almost completed this
year, with a newly built laboratory, veterinary hospital and
quarantine hall put into operation.
The new panda houses are currently in use at Hong Kong's Ocean
Park and the Madrid Zoo in Spain. Construction has started on a
panda house at the Adelaide Zoo in Australia, preparing for the
arrival of Wang Wang and Fu Ni, the pair of giant pandas from
The Ministry of Science and Technology has ratified China's
first key state laboratory on conservation of endangered wildlife
including the giant panda this year.
Due to the combined efforts of the Cheungdu base, Sichuan
University and the Wolong Center, the laboratory aims to be a
leader in reproductive biology, conservation genetics, conservation
ecology and disease prevention and control, Zhang said.
More than 80 officials and panda experts from animal protection
organizations in eight countries attended the conference.
The Chinese Committee of Breeding Techniques for the Giant Panda
was set up in Chengdu in 1989. Since then, the committee's annual
meeting has become a major platform for exchanges between the
world's panda experts.
Monday also marked the 20th anniversary of the founding the
(China Daily November 13, 2007)