CHENGDU, March 20, Xinhua -- All 17 baby pandas born last year at Shenshuping protection base in Sichuan's Wolong National Nature Reserve have had ID microchips implanted to trace their movements and keep records of their growth.
"The ID chip is half the size of a grain of rice," said Li Desheng with China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. "It contains a unique identification code and, using a sensor, the panda's basic information such as health records and age can be retrieved."
Li said more detailed records will be stored on a computer database to better analyze and manage the pandas.
All pandas at the center, except those who are too old, now have the chips implanted. Information held on the chip will be double-checked before a panda undergoes a health checkup or is released into the wild.
"Released pandas also wear a GPS collar, but the collar may fall off, so the microchip is more reliable," said Li.
Giant pandas are endangered and live mainly in the mountains of northern Sichuan Province as well as southern Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.