Wandering China

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Panda babies have the cute market cornered [The Age]


Panda diplomacy central?

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Panda babies have the cute market cornered
Source – The Age, published September 28, 2011

A group of giant panda cubs napping at a nursery in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, in south-west China's Sichuan province. Photo: AFP

A giant panda breeding centre in China has shown pictures of its new crop of cute babies.

The giant panda breeding centre in Chengdu, in south-west China’s Sichuan province, started with just six pandas in 1987 and now has more than 100.

The centre looks after red pandas and other endangered Chinese animals as well.

Meanwhile, China has launched its once-a-decade panda census, trying to determine how many of the endangered animals live in the wild, amid efforts to boost numbers.

The census is also expected to ascertain pandas’ living conditions, ages and any changes in their habitat.

The census is the fourth since they were launched in the 1970s.

The count a decade ago found 1596 pandas were left in the wild in China, with 1206 of them living in Sichuan.

Wild pandas are threatened by a loss of habitat, poaching and for being poor breeders.

Females in the wild normally have a cub once every two or three years.

Fertility rates of captive giant pandas – of which there are more than 300 in China – are even lower.

Agencies

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Influence, International Relations, Media, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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