China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda has strengthened its efforts in tackling hard-nut problems in science and technology. After the “three difficulties” being solved, including “difficulty in estrus”, “difficulty in conception”, and “difficulty in bringing up the young”, Ailuropoda melanoleuca breeding has stepped into the era of “better births and better cultivation”, in which pairing is optimized by strictly following phylogenetic relationships to promote and expand the genetic communication between Ailuropoda melanoleuca, and avoid inbreeding, so as to maximize the genetic diversity of artificial breeding Ailuropoda melanoleuca. In 2017, 30 births of Ailuropoda melanoleuca were bred and 42 cubs survived, with a population reaching to 270. Thus the self maintenance and development of the captive population of Ailuropoda melanoleuca has been achieved, which has laid a solid foundation for the wild Ailuropoda melanoleuca population rejuvenation.
In 2017, the project of introducing Ailuropoda melanoleuca into the wild was launched and the introduced wild panda “Caocao” has successfully given birth, which has injected the new genes into the captive Ailuropoda melanoleuca population, and enhanced the vitality and genetic diversity of the artificial population. The project has achieved a preliminary success.
Over the past 10 years or so, Ailuropoda melanoleuca reintroduction has been continuously promoted, and the individuals with high genetic values have been released to the wild after completing wilderness training. Nine giant pandas have been reintroduced to the wild after wilderness training, and seven of them were found to be alive and healthy in the follow-up monitoring. The reintroduction is not only a beneficial supplement to the wild pandas, but will also promote recovery and development of endangered Ailuropoda melanoleuca of small populations in the wild.
China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda has not only unceasingly strived to innovate in science and technology, increased the quantity and quality of the Ailuropoda melanoleuca population, but also has made great efforts in the culture construction, protection popularization, international cooperation and public education on Ailuropoda melanoleuca. The organization of various Ailuropoda melanoleuca culture publicity activities, new media platform, cooperation with 14 zoos in 12 countries, popular science education activities in various forms, and transmission of Ailuropoda melanoleuca related knowledge, have achieved a good publicity effect, raised the awareness of Ailuropoda melanoleuca and biodiversity conservation in the whole society, and enabled more people to participate in the Ailuropoda melanoleuca and ecological protection to build an ecological, civilized and beautiful China. (Department of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management, State Forestry Administration)