5. Pandas’ can produce 48-62 pounds of waste each day
That’s 21-28kg for the people back in my homeland. I bet I could name one of my best friends who could possibly give pandas a run for their money. Never the less this is a mighty feat for any animal that’s not an elephant, which can produce anywhere up to 300 pounds of waste in one day.
Most of what is consumed by the panda comes straight back out the other end. Their digestive system is short, just like you would expect to find in a carnivore. This makes it extremely difficult for the giant panda to digest and up take the nutrients of bamboo. Continue reading →
The upcoming breeding season marks our 4th year studying in China. We’ve seen some amazing animal interactions and have also had the joy of making new friendships that will last the rest of our lives. With that said, our next trip will be our last.
We are making one final push into the rural countryside of China to collect over 200lbs. of panda feces. The poop will be transferred to Beijing where it will then be analyzed for reproductive hormones. This allows us to interpolate the short, but ever so important breeding cycle of pandas. The cost to run the analysis isn’t that expensive, only $13.50 per sample. But, when you take into account that we have over 100 samples, it begins to add up.
To alleviate this “stinky” cost, we are asking for donations to cover the $1350 it costs to run all of our samples. We have setup a donation website- http://igg.me/p/589445/x/5392701, that has a few perks for those who decide to participate. Every little bit helps, no matter the denomination.
We sincerely appreciate everyones support over the last few years. It would not have been possible without you.
Staff scientist Diana with some of her friends in the town of Salvacion, in the rural Philippine municipality of Busuanga
We wanted to take a break from the wildlife today to remember that there is no conservation without a community of support. If you’ve been following us here at PDXWildlife for long, you’ll know that previously our staff scientists have done work in the Philippines, in an area that was hard-hit by last week’s typhoon. Working with Community Centred Conservation (C3), a non-profit based in the UK, I had the chance to promote conservation through research and community education in the town of Salvacion, in the province of Busuanga (check out this typhoon map, and look for ‘Coron’). Now C3 staff, who are also still living on the typhoon-ravaged island, are trying to do what they can to help the community in the coming weeks.
Staff scientist Diana teaching about overfishing at the local post-secondary school (Nov 2011)
A post-typhoon photo of the school from a few days ago.
These people have committed to protecting their natural resources, and now we’d like to commit to helping them. If you can, please consider making a donation to provide relief aid for the Philippines. You can make a donation to general relief funds through the Red Cross here. If you’d like to show your support on a more specific level, you can donate money directly to C3; they are currently collecting funds to ship supplies to this rural island that has yet to be reached by the larger relief efforts that are taking place near Tacloban. This organization is registered in the UK so the typical tax deductions will not apply for U.S. citizens, but if you’d like to know that you’ve put money directly in the hands of people who are on the ground getting supplies to the families living in this rural community this is a great way to get involved! Email Philippines program director Leo Cayaban (firstname.lastname@example.org) for specific donation instructions, and check out their facebook group to keep track of these efforts.
Some young members of the Tagbanua (original inhabitant) community living in Concepcion
Thanks for anything you can do to support the continued good work of relief and conservation agencies the world over!
Fact #4: Black and white…not exactly the most camouflaged, or is it?
A question that is yet to be answered; why is the panda black and white? What advantage does this bring to them? If they have evolved other vital adaptations for survival why is their fur still an unmistakable pattern? Continue reading →
To continue on with our Fun Facts about Giant Pandas Series let’s move to #3 . . .
Fun Fact #3: “Researches have counted 11 different panda calls”
While observing the pandas I hear their different vocalizations all the time and I wondered how many do they actually have and what do they use them for. Other animals use them to warn conspecifics and other species, some are used to mark territory, and some are to find a mate, basically a vital communication tool in the animal kingdom. So I did some research and I came across this interesting “fact” from a random website. Not the most credible source in the world so I decided to look further. Continue reading →
You’ll remember that Fun Fact #1 was about the panda bears bamboo diet. Here’s fun fact #2!
Fun Fact #2: Giant Pandas have an extended wrist bone that acts like an opposable thumb 
The grasping “opposable thumb” of the panda
The pseudo thumb of the giant panda has to be one of evolutions greatest adaptations. What we are made for and how we evolve to survive a changing environment, diet, climate, and situation can be two completely separate things. This is the case with the giant panda. When they switched to bamboo their physical morphology was not made to be able to eat bamboo Continue reading →
The time that I’ve spent studying the giant panda at Bi Feng Xia Panda Base I feel like I have a gained a valuable and personal insight into these animals. They are a carnivorous bear yet eat bamboo, they have strong powerful claws yet seem so docile and almost lazy, they are incredibly playful at a young age but choose the solitary life when older. They just seem to defy all stereotypes of what this species should be. I find myself asking why. Continue reading →