Historical data

Historical data were collected for all 61 giant pandas in the Biomedical Survey. However, behavioural trait data were collected for only 54 individuals (four were excluded because of juvenile status and three because of scoring errors (noted above). Table 5.2 indicates study subjects by location, sex and origin (captive born or wild born). Of the 34 females, 26 had been born in captivity and eight in the wild. Of the 20 males, 14 were captive born and six were wild born.

In addition to evaluating results on the basis of facility, sex and origin, the following historical variables also were analysed, including records for:

1. ability to successfully copulate;

2. number of litters born or sired over the course of the animal's lifetime;

3. number of litters surviving (one or more cubs per birthing event surviving at least until six months of age);

One-way analysis of variance for age distributions by facility revealed that the pandas at the Wolong Centre were younger (p = 0.03) than those in counterpart facilities (all of which did not differ from each other; p > 0.05). The other three variables were similar across institutions, with no substantial differences in copulatory ability, number of litters produced or number of litters surviving. These findings in the context of the categorisations used in the Biomedical Survey (Prime Breeder, Potential Breeder, Questionable Breeder, Poor Breeding Prospect; see Chapter 3) are shown in Table 5.3. Statistical comparisons on the basis of these categories were not possible due to inadequate sample sizes in some cells. Table 5.4 shows a breakdown of gender and origin of animals included in the behavioural survey. Wild-born giant pandas were 2.4 times more likely to be Prime Breeders than captive-born counterparts (p < 0.01 via a chi-squared contingency test). A

Table 5.2. Giant panda distribution by location, gender and origin


Total no. animals


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