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Genetic profiles compiled for over 300 wild giant pandas

(Xinhua)    16:25, May 22, 2017
Genetic profiles compiled for over 300 wild giant pandas

CHENGDU, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Southwest China's Sichuan Province Monday released statistics on the progress of it's giant panda genetic profiling project.

"Within the next five years, the province aims to compile a database of the genetic diversity of it's more than 1,300 wild pandas," said Gu Xiaodong from the provincial forestry department.

So far the database includes genetic profiles of over 300 wild pandas, the authority announced Monday.

The project, established in 2015, aims to provide detailed genetic information on the province's wild panda population to assist with breeding programs aimed at increasing genetic diversity amongst the species.

Researchers monitor panda habitats noting the common feeding and mating routes, distribution of eaten bamboo, footprints and feces, collecting information to build a genetic profile.

"We are able to extract DNA from panda feces collected in the wild," said Gu.

The program has now expanded to 14 national reserves within the province from the 11 picked for the first round of collection and analysis in 2015.

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