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4 - Significant medical issues and biological reference values for giant pandas from the Biomedical Survey

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 August 2009

Donald L. Janssen
Affiliation:
San Diego Zoo, Zoological Society of San Diego
Mark S. Edwards
Affiliation:
San Diego Zoo, Zoological Society of San Diego
Meg Sutherland-Smith
Affiliation:
San Diego Zoo, Zoological Society of San Diego
Jianqiu Yu
Affiliation:
Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding
Desheng Li
Affiliation:
China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda
Guiquan Zhang
Affiliation:
China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda
Rongping Wei
Affiliation:
China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda
Cheng Lin Zhang
Affiliation:
Beijing Zoo
R. Eric Miller
Affiliation:
Saint Louis Zoo, WildCare Institute
Lyndsay G. Phillips
Affiliation:
School of Veterinary Medicine
Daming Hu
Affiliation:
China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda
Chunxiang Tang
Affiliation:
China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda
David E. Wildt
Affiliation:
Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington DC
Anju Zhang
Affiliation:
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Hemin Zhang
Affiliation:
Wildlife Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas
Donald L. Janssen
Affiliation:
Zoological Society of San Diego
Susie Ellis
Affiliation:
Conservation Breeding Specialist Group
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Summary

INTRODUCTION

The Giant Panda Biomedical Survey sought to establish a baseline of scientific information on giant pandas living in Chinese zoos and breeding centres as a first step towards establishing a self-sustaining captive population (Zheng et al., 1997; see also Chapter 2). To produce the most information that would allow an understanding of the health and reproductive status of the extant population, we chose an interdisciplinary approach to examine as many health and reproductive traits as possible. What was crucial was the trusting relationship that developed early in the process between the Chinese and American teams which led to a thorough understanding of giant panda biology – information that not only was fascinating from a scholarly perspective but also valuable to improving ex situ management.

This chapter provides detailed methods and medical findings following the assessment of more than 60% of the living Chinese population of giant pandas (as existed in 1996 when the need for a Biomedical Survey was recognised). The results in this chapter address issues ranging from disease conditions to reproductive compromise, all of which ultimately allowed classifying each animal as to its usefulness in achieving the goal of population self-sustainability. The practices and reference values described here will also be useful to those who are interested in closely studying and managing giant pandas in the future.

Type
Chapter
Information
Giant Pandas
Biology, Veterinary Medicine and Management
, pp. 59 - 86
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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References

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