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  #1
Pandas in North America
Old 17-05-2013

This is something I have been pondering over recently, and I do apologize if a similar topic has been made before.

In North America we have the following Giant Pandas:

Smithsonian National Zoo
~1.1(Produced 1.0)

San Diego Zoo
~3.1 (Produced 3.3)

Zoo Atlanta
~3.1 (Produced 3.0)

Memphis Zoo
~1.1

Toronto Zoo
~1.1

Chapultepec Zoo
0.2 (Produced 1.4)

In terms of animals produced, I only included offspring that survived infancy.

In all, that gives us 16 Pandas in NA, 9.7. Out of those, all of them are on loan from china with the exception of the 0.2 from Chapultepec Zoo, who seems to be the only zoo that had any success with breeding their own Pandas back when they were given out as gifts.

It seems like the popular trend is to send back the cubs once they hit breeding age, but why not do the opposite ?? Keep the cubs in North America and continue to breed them here ?? As well, perhaps Chapultepec could loan their animals to a zoo that has had good breeding success (San Diego or Zoo Atlanta ?) and henceforth we could produce a couple more North American owned Pandas as well !!

I do apologize if none of this makes sence or if I am overlooking anything, but eh, its a burning conundrum I've got to know
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  #2
Old 17-05-2013

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Originally Posted by FWC View Post
It seems like the popular trend is to send back the cubs once they hit breeding age, but why not do the opposite ?? Keep the cubs in North America and continue to breed them here ??
Sending the panda cubs back to China is a legal requirement of the loan agreements to display them in the U.S. and Canada (and elsewhere that the pandas are on loan in Europe, Asia, and Australia). No doubt the zoos with pandas would LOVE to have a self-sustaining population, but the pandas belong to China, not the zoos exhibiting them (excepting Mexico as you noted) and so they go back to China as part of the loan.
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  #3
Old 17-05-2013

Ah, figured it would be something like that.

Also to clarify, I never ment the Panda's become the host zoos animals, but more like china retains ownership, but the cubs still stay in NA and breed, and then go back to china with their parents or something like that.
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  #4
Old 17-05-2013

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Originally Posted by FWC View Post
but the cubs still stay in NA and breed, and then go back to china with their parents or something like that.
I believe the stipulation is that they're required to be sent back to China @ three-years-old. Though, I remember reading somewhere that Yun Zi (born in '09) has special needs and will be remaining in San Diego.

I've always wondered what China's long term plans were for Giant Pandas. With the rate of deforestation and the gradual encroachment of the Gobi due to the rapidly depleted water table, it doesn't appear that they'll be able to be reintroduced into the wild.

Imagine if China allowed a preserve to be opened in the States; it would be swamped like Chengdu is. Especially if you were allowed to hold a panda cub.
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  #5
Old 18-05-2013

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Originally Posted by DavidBrown View Post
Sending the panda cubs back to China is a legal requirement of the loan agreements to display them in the U.S. and Canada (and elsewhere that the pandas are on loan in Europe, Asia, and Australia). No doubt the zoos with pandas would LOVE to have a self-sustaining population, but the pandas belong to China, not the zoos exhibiting them (excepting Mexico as you noted) and so they go back to China as part of the loan.
To my mind: if P.R. of China wishes to join the WAZA ranks proper it will have to revise this policy completely. In this day and age any loan agreement where funds is involved is contradictory to the spirit of breeding programmes, conservation managerial and conservation educational principles. Even though the Chinese have funded thru the panda deals a good number of new panda reserves in central China and the entire in situ research program.

Equally, I really do not wish to have overseas interests in panda exhibition outside China regress into only sending exotic species to P.R. of China Chinese zoos have an interest in on similarly designed financial loan agreements. Having said that, Chinese mainland zoos have paid heavily for wildlife imported ex range countries in Southern Africa into P.R. of China in recent years.

The only way forward must and should be loan agreements without financial ties and that the resident governments themselves raise the necessary funds for their homegrown - and duty bound by enviromental and conservation principles - wildlife conservation and protected area programs.
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  #6
Old 18-05-2013

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Originally Posted by Buldeo View Post
I believe the stipulation is that they're required to be sent back to China @ three-years-old. Though, I remember reading somewhere that Yun Zi (born in '09) has special needs and will be remaining in San Diego.

I've always wondered what China's long term plans were for Giant Pandas. With the rate of deforestation and the gradual encroachment of the Gobi due to the rapidly depleted water table, it doesn't appear that they'll be able to be reintroduced into the wild.

Imagine if China allowed a preserve to be opened in the States; it would be swamped like Chengdu is. Especially if you were allowed to hold a panda cub.
What would be comparable US habitat? The Appalachians?
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  #7
Old 19-05-2013

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Originally Posted by tschandler71 View Post
What would be comparable US habitat? The Appalachians?
I volunteer the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan's Upper Peninsula!
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  #8
Old 19-05-2013

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Originally Posted by DavidBrown View Post
No doubt the zoos with pandas would LOVE to have a self-sustaining population, but the pandas belong to China, not the zoos exhibiting them (excepting Mexico as you noted) and so they go back to China as part of the loan.
If the American zoos could somehow break the strangehold that China has over ownership and repatriation of cubs, they could indeed have a self-sustaining population.

There are enough individuals present in the US to allow that if;

1. cubs could be retained in the USA permanently and not sent back to China at 3 years old.
2. The non-breeding pairs could somehow be activated also.

As a starter, even with the current rulings of ownership/repatriation in place, I wonder if there is anything to prevent the US Zoos holding Pandas, swapping animals to promote breeding where they don't. It seems very much luck of the draw as to whether a zoo pair start breeding or not, either naturally or, if that fails, by AI. Exchanges of male partners- or even better, giving a female a choice of more than one male at breeding time- as they do in the wild- might also help things too.
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  #9
Old 20-05-2013

Are there European zoos that own their own pandas (similar to Chapultapec Zoos) that US zoos could source from?
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  #10
Old 20-05-2013

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Originally Posted by elefante View Post
Are there European zoos that own their own pandas (similar to Chapultapec Zoos) that US zoos could source from?
Nope / negative / nada.

Like I said before to me the handling of panda deals is a passee subject not done / conducive to / in this day and age of cooperative conservation breeding programmes.
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  #11
Old 20-05-2013

I believe there is a single non-china owned panda in Berlin, but I am not 100% sure on that.

Edit: Nevermind, I guess not.
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  #12
Old 20-05-2013

There was one, but he died a few months ago. No more Giant Pandas in Berlin since.
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  #13
Old 20-05-2013

China "owning" Panda's reeks of hypocrisy and the ghosts of communism to me. Someone needs to stand up to China if you are going to play in the world order of the Capitalistic Democratic Countries and try to act modern you need to actually grow up, reform, and be modern first. Its like they reek all the benefits of the international trade system but make none of the investment in their own people, heck they only see Panda's as a tool. Basically they aren't Capitalist or Communist anymore but this weird mixture which cares nothing about its own people or animals (look at China and tigers) and does the exact stuff Communists used to accuse capitalists of.
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  #14
Old 20-05-2013

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Originally Posted by tschandler71 View Post
China "owning" Panda's reeks of hypocrisy and the ghosts of communism to me. Someone needs to stand up to China if you are going to play in the world order of the Capitalistic Democratic Countries and try to act modern you need to actually grow up, reform, and be modern first. Its like they reek all the benefits of the international trade system but make none of the investment in their own people, heck they only see Panda's as a tool. Basically they aren't Capitalist or Communist anymore but this weird mixture which cares nothing about its own people or animals (look at China and tigers) and does the exact stuff Communists used to accuse capitalists of.
Not quite sure if you are getting up on your soapbox about Chinese politics or the concept of government ownership of wildlife. Because most countries, no matter what type of government they practice, generally have some type of wildlife ownership policy. Australia won't export platypus, and the US even restricts what domestic zoos can have Florida Manatees or Black-footed Ferrets.
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  #15
Old 20-05-2013

To compare the Chinese government with the American or Australian Governments has to be a joke. Especially since the Chinese see the Panda as a "tool of the state" while the US and Australia don't use Black Footed Ferrets or Platypus as political leverage. The Chinese government has a bad habit and track record when it comes to international institutions, it uses them to reek the benefits but plays the system and doesn't hold its end of the bargain in international relations. When is the last time China cracked down on an endangered species trafficing? If we lose one of the Rhino species the blood is on China's hand being the largest end market and the local power it can stop the death of Black White and Asian rhino if they choose to.
 


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