According to the new studies, the pandas tend to spend their time by hanging out with their friends in the wild. Until now, experts thought that the pandas don`t have the habit of gathering in gangs, but would rather prefer to lead a solitary life.
Scientists who lead behavioral studies on the social aspect of the life of pandas admit that only a small part of the social web the animals create is known. It was generally accepted that the pandas would rather be on their own not caring about their peers, but a new study reveals that an important amount of their time is dedicating to socializing with their friends.
The study was led by experts at the Michigan State University. They said that the giant pandas are rather difficult to observe. Being such elusive animals, it wasn`t much till the hypothesis of solitary giant pandas gained popularity.
Five giant pandas were the subject of the experts` at Michigan State University observations. GPS collars were the main instrument which helped them study the behavior of the creatures.
The Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS) is a research department at the Michigan State University. An affiliated analyst, Vanessa Hull, affirmed that within the study, there were involved three mature panda females, one adult panda male and a young panda female. The animals were attached the GPS collars. They have been observed on a period of two years, from 2010 to 2012. The animals were inhabiting the Wolong Nature Reserve, located in China, for whom the panda `bear` is regarded as a national symbol.
This study is one of the first within which GPS collars have been used. The Chinese cabinet is highly interested in the problem of the pandas, as they are an endangered species, so the government is very protective. Until this study, they did not allow GPS collars even if they were used for scientific purposes.
The researchers have reported that 3 out of the 5 pandas involved in the study were getting together on a regular basis. Vanessa Hull stated that these 3 pandas would be found in a particular area of the reservation together. This reveals that it is typical for pandas to get along really well. The male that was also observed preferred to travel to larger areas in order to discover more females.
“This could be evidence that pandas are not as solitary as [they were] after widely believed [to be],”
said Jindong Zhang, co-author of the experiment.
Image Source: WWF.be