China continues giant panda protection cooperation with Spain, US; negotiations with Austria underway

(Global Times) 10:53, February 23, 2024

Giant panda Mei Xiang enjoys an ice cake at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., the United States, on July 22, 2023. Photo: Xinhua

Giant panda Mei Xiang enjoys an ice cake at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., the United States, on July 22, 2023. Meixiang, its partner Tian Tian and their child Xiao Qi Ji has returned to China in November 2023. File photo: Xinhua

The China Wildlife Conservation Association recently reached agreements with the Madrid Zoo in Spain and San Diego Zoo in the US in a new round of international cooperation for giant panda conservation.

Negotiations are underway with the National Zoo in Washington, DC and the Schönbrunn Zoo in Austria, the Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at Thursday's routine press briefing that "We expect the new round of cooperation can further enrich research results on vulnerable species like the giant panda, promote people-to-people exchanges and enhance friendship between people."

Spain, the US, and Austria were among the first countries to engage in international cooperation with China on giant panda conservation. Twenty-eight cubs have been bred and raised through joint efforts with the three countries, making a significant contribution to the conservation and breeding of giant pandas.

Based on the good foundation of cooperation and the shared desire of the people to protect vulnerable species, a new round of giant panda conservation collaborative research is about to begin.

The new round of research will focus on the prevention and control of major diseases for giant pandas, the protection of habitats and wild populations, the enhancement of investigation and monitoring capabilities, and the support for the construction of the China Giant Panda National Park. These efforts will establish an international academic exchange platform to promote exchanges in the protection of flagship species and umbrella species. They will also promote people-to-people exchanges between China and foreign countries, enhancing friendship between the peoples of all nations.

Ensuring a healthy and safe giant panda population abroad is the most important premise and foundation for international cooperation. According to the association, in 2024, they will further strengthen the daily health monitoring and physical examinations of giant pandas living abroad, ensuring full coverage of on-site inspections and evaluations every year, Xinhua reported.

For giant pandas with unstable health conditions, Chinese experts will stay overseas for care; for major issues involving giant panda breeding, rearing, disease treatment, Chinese experts will also provide full technical guidance and support.

The giant panda is China's national treasure and beloved by people around the world. Since the 1990s, China has successively carried out collaborative research on protection with 26 institutions from 20 countries, successfully breeding 41 litters of 68 giant panda cubs.

Major achievements have been made in various aspects such as giant panda conservation in the wild, breeding and rearing, disease prevention and control, disease treatment, technical exchanges, and public education.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Zhong Wenxing)


Related Stories