Encouraged by the findings from the Wolong panda studies (The Giant Pandas of Wolong, by G. Schaller et al., CH, Oct’85), Wenshi (Peking Univ.) and other Chinese wildlife biologists working under grueling conditions undertook the “first Chinese-led conservation project” in the country to study wild radio-collared pandas inhabiting the high-elevation regenerating forest in Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi Province. They summarized/analyzed over 10 years of data, including research methodology, in a 2001 publication written in Mandarin Chinese. Topics covered included population abundance, distribution and dynamics, dens, home range, movement migration, dispersal routes and activity location, activity budgets, behavioral relationships of mother and young, mating systems, and feeding strategies and nutrition relative to the various bamboo species. A translation and updated version of this highly significant book makes previously inaccessible information on the life history and ecology of this world icon species, as well as its relationship to the biotic landscape and land use policy that impacts the survival of the species, available to a wide audience. It is a valuable resource for readers in conservation biology, wildlife biology, and zoology. –R. L. Smith, West Virginia University
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
Quarterly Review of Biology
I highly recommend this volume not only because it contains unique insights into the ecology of giant pandas, but also because it takes readers on a wonderful journey of scientific discovery that ultimately influenced key policy decisions. With the benefit of several decades of hindsight, the title of this book aptly reflects a story of hope.
If you ever wanted to know what a small, dedicated research team could accomplish against insurmountable odds, then A Chance for Lasting Survival: Ecology and Behavior of Wild Giant Pandas is the book for you… this recent excellent translation and revision opens up the world of the giant panda as experienced by a vanguard research team led by Wenshi Pan during the 1980s and 1990s… a clear, meaningful window into the ecology and conservation of this iconic species.