Date Written

2018

Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

Zoo and Conservation Science-BA

Department

Biology & Earth Science

Advisor

Dr. Anna Young

First Committee Member

Dr. Sarah Bouchard

Second Committee Member

Dr. Meredith Frey

Keywords

Giant Panda Behavior, Physical Characteristics, Twin Studies, Animal Behavior

Subject Categories

Zoology

Abstract

Expanded knowledge on an animal’s individual behavior would be useful in reintroduction programs for endangered species around the globe. Currently, reintroduction program criteria focus primarily on physical characteristics such as age, sex, and overall health for the selection of candidates. However, behavioral deficiencies have been found in captive populations, producing adverse effects on reintroduction program success. The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a species that would benefit from understanding the impact of behavior on reintroduction success. This study focused on the relationship of behavior with kinship, birth weight and age. No significant correlation was found between birth weight and activity, inactivity, social, or solitary levels. No significant correlations were observed between cub age at the start of the study and activity, inactivity, social, or solitary levels. No significance was found within or between twins and singletons. Based on previous research, decisions on selection for reintroduction programs should not be based solely on an individual’s physical characteristics but should also consider behavioral characteristics.

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