Survey Results

Early in the process, the combined CBSG and China teams agreed that each giant panda should be classified into a category that would identify its probable future value to the ex situ population. Four categories were defined and used.

An animal in good-to-excellent weight and health, displaying 'normal' behaviours and with a history of either successful reproduction or no reproductive deficiencies was categorised as a Prime Breeder.

A young, prepubertal, vigorously healthy animal of normal weight was classified as a Potential Breeder.

A Questionable Breeder was a giant panda that either was near reproductive senescence or was demonstrating a modest health problem that perhaps could be successfully treated; if resolved, the animal could potentially enter (or re-enter) the breeding population.

A giant panda in the Poor Breeding Prospect category was reproduc-tively senescent or seriously ill and/or experiencing developmental problems that left no hope for future reproduction.

Twenty-four males and 37 female giant pandas were evaluated (Table 3.1). Of these, approximately 38% were Prime Breeders, 39% Potential Breeders, 11% Questionable Breeders and 8% Poor Breeding Prospects (see Table 3.1). Although most (>75%) met the criteria indicating high value to the captive management programme, at least 20% experienced one or more problems that likely prohibited reproductive success. There were two animals, both adult males, which did not fit cleanly into any of the four categories. Studbook 323 and 345 experienced unilateral testicular hypoplasia or atrophy (see Chapter 7), with the former having produced many offspring. Thus, while this animal truly met our Prime Breeder definition, at the same time he was

Table 3.1. Assigned categories of reproductive potential by institution and origin (male.female) based on the results of the three-year Biomedical Survey

Poor

Table 3.1. Assigned categories of reproductive potential by institution and origin (male.female) based on the results of the three-year Biomedical Survey

Poor

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