validating the ability of the keepers to identify accurately behavioural characteristics of the animals that they evaluated. For example, in descending order, correlations were found between 'active' and 'spirited' (r = 0.71), 'aggressive' and 'fearful' of conspecifics (r = 0.66) and 'playful' and 'spirited' (r = 0.55).
The behavioural characteristic 'aggressive' was an important predictor of breeding: increased aggression in both males and females signified more likely reproductive success. However, when the data were analysed within sex, 'aggression' became a non-significant variable (p > 0.05). That is, the presence of only an assertive male or female (but not both) did not enhance reproductive success. This trait was also positively related to keepers' perceptions that these same animals were 'irritable' and 'eccentric', and inversely related to 'amiable' and 'friendly to people'.
Logit regression analysis, whereby the Prime Breeder binary (historical) variable was integrated with the behavioural traits in clusters, did not generate additional useful predictive information about breeding success. The trait 'aggressive' consistently produced significance values of p < 0.01 but was not enhanced further by evaluating in the context of other behaviours.
In summary, of the historical and behavioural traits examined, only origin (being wild born) and aggression to other pandas (when sexes were combined) were significant positive contributors to being an effective breeder. Interestingly, when sexes were separated, aggression was not a significant factor. This suggests that aggression in captive giant pandas may be a useful behavioural characteristic for both males and females even though male hyperaggression has been a main reason cited for breeding failure in captivity (Zheng et al., 1997; see also Chapter 3). In nature, males are known to compete, sometimes
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