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Giant PandasBiology and Conservation$
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Donald Lindburg

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238671

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238671.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Variation in Ursid Life HistoriesIs

Variation in Ursid Life HistoriesIs

Is There an Outlier?

(p.53) 4 Variation in Ursid Life HistoriesIs
Giant Pandas

Garshelis David L.

University of California Press

This chapter reports that the giant panda is most divergent taxonomically and has some distinctive life-history traits, such as a specialized but nonnutritive diet, exceedingly small cubs at birth, and, despite frequently producing twins (like other bears), generally raising only one cub. Moreover, it examines the variation in the life histories of bears, both within and across species. The chapter compares the life-history strategies used by the eight species of bears and explains some of the differences. Giant pandas appear to be an outlier in terms of litter size, but not necessarily in terms of total reproductive output. The long-term conservation of small, isolated, and increasingly human-impacted bear populations will require innovative, pragmatic, and site-specific approaches. A brief report that provides a long-awaited glimpse into the nature of giant-panda reproduction is presented.

Keywords:   Ursid, life history, litter size, reproductive output, conservation

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