Qinling Giant Panda Science Park will be established in Chang’an District, Xi’an City, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.
Qinling Giant Panda Science Park will be established in Chang’an District, Xi’an City, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, according to a strategic cooperation agreement signed by Shaanxi Provincial Forestry Bureau, Natural Resources and Planning Bureau of Xi’an City and Xi’an Tourism Group on Wednesday.
The Giant Panda Science Park, to be located at the northern foot of Qinling Mountains, will strengthen the work of panda reproduction, protection and scientific research.
Qinling giant panda, found in Qinling Mountains within Shaanxi Province, was recognized as a sub-species of giant panda in 2005. They look similar to the pandas distributed in southwest China’s Sichuan Province and northwest China’s Gansu Province, but are genetically different.
According to the result of the Fourth National Giant Panda Survey, 345 wild adult giant pandas were found in Qinling Mountains, covering an area of 3,606 square kilometers. Qinling Mountains are the northernmost home for the giant panda and are also one of the areas with the densest panda population across China.
Importantly, the giant panda range in Qinling Mountains is rich in bamboo, an essential food source for the species. Also, due to the low temperature and increased rainfall in the range, human activities are less frequent. More living space is provided for the survival and reproduction of the pandas. Therefore, Qinling Mountains are considered the “natural sanctuary” of the giant panda.
The Qinling panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca qinlingensis) is a subspecies of the giant panda, discovered in the 1960s. Other than the nominate subspecies (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) it is the first giant panda subspecies to be recognised. It has a smaller skull than melanoleuca and its fur is dark brown and light brown rather than black and white. It is also smaller.
There are estimated to be only between 200 and 300 Qinling pandas living in the wild. They are found only in the Qinling Mountains, at altitudes of 4,000 to 10,000 feet (1,300 to 3,300 metres).
Originally published at CGNT