Wildlife research

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1994:

A 10-year study by Beijing
University researcher Pan Wenski has dis-
covered that giant pandas in the wild are not
the solitary foragers they have long been
believed to be, but rather form social com-
munities of up to 28 animals. Both males
and females tend to have multiple sexual
liaisons, Pan Wenski reported, adding that
the wild panda population is slowly increas-
ing now after decades of decline.
Genetic research by University
of California at Davis biologist Phillip
Morin suggests that one western African
chimpanzee subspecies––the only tool-using
chimp in the wild––appears to have been
genetically isolated for 1.5 million years,
and therefore might qualify as an altogether
different but related species. Captive
chimps from this group have readily
hybridized with others.

Expediting and improving the
accuracy of wildlife population assess-
ment , mainly to make sure animals aren’t
harmed by roadwork, Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratories staff biologist Jim
Woolett uses MOLE, a “miniature optical
lair explorer” designed by engineer John
Christensen. The five-inch-long device con-
sists of a tiny video camera on a 360-degree
swivel, a quiet electric motor, a small set of
treads, and an 18-foot control tether. It
investigates burrows to see if they’re cur-
rently occupied, and if so, by whom. Most
species, says Woolett, tend to freeze and
stare at MOLE when approached.
Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.