A Chance for Lasting Survival: Ecology and Behavior of Wild Giant Pandas


Product Details

Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
Publish Date
7.3 X 10.2 X 1.2 inches | 2.5 pounds

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About the Author

WILLIAM J. MCSHEA is an ecologist who has worked at the National Zoo's facility in Front Royal, Virginia, since 1986. His research focuses on wildlife management and conservation of mammals and forests. He has numerous publications on wildlife ecology throughout the world and has worked and published on China wildlife since 2001. McShea has co-edited volumes on deer management, oak ecosystem management, and dry tropical forest ecology. He is co-chair of the IUCN Deer Specialist Group and a member of the IUCN Bear Specialist Group.

RICHARD B. HARRIS is a wildlife conservation ecologist and adjunct associate research professor of wildlife conservation at the University of Montana. He is also the editor-in-chief of Ursus, the international scientific journal of bear biology and management, and has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, and monographs about his research.

DAVID GARSHELIS is a wildlife research scientist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Since 1983, as bear project leader, he has conducted studies of American black bears across their geographic range in Minnesota. Since 2004 Dave has served as co-chair of the IUCN Bear Specialist Group, coordinating worldwide conservation efforts on all species of bears.

WANG DAJUN is a wildlife biologist in the School of Life Sciences at Peking University in Beijing, China. His research focuses on the wildlife ecology of western China, specifically endangered species populations and habitat management under human disturbance. He began studying wild giant pandas in 1993 and is now regarded as one of the world's preeminent panda scholars.



Encouraged by the findings from the Wolong panda studies (The Giant Pandas of Wolong, by G. Schaller et al., CH, Oct'85), Wenshi (Peking Univ.) and other Chinese wildlife biologists working under grueling conditions undertook the "first Chinese-led conservation project" in the country to study wild radio-collared pandas inhabiting the high-elevation regenerating forest in Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi Province. They summarized/analyzed over 10 years of data, including research methodology, in a 2001 publication written in Mandarin Chinese. Topics covered included population abundance, distribution and dynamics, dens, home range, movement migration, dispersal routes and activity location, activity budgets, behavioral relationships of mother and young, mating systems, and feeding strategies and nutrition relative to the various bamboo species. A translation and updated version of this highly significant book makes previously inaccessible information on the life history and ecology of this world icon species, as well as its relationship to the biotic landscape and land use policy that impacts the survival of the species, available to a wide audience. It is a valuable resource for readers in conservation biology, wildlife biology, and zoology. --R. L. Smith, West Virginia University

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.

Quarterly Review of Biology

I highly recommend this volume not only because it contains unique insights into the ecology of giant pandas, but also because it takes readers on a wonderful journey of scientific discovery that ultimately influenced key policy decisions. With the benefit of several decades of hindsight, the title of this book aptly reflects a story of hope.


If you ever wanted to know what a small, dedicated research team could accomplish against insurmountable odds, then A Chance for Lasting Survival: Ecology and Behavior of Wild Giant Pandas is the book for you... this recent excellent translation and revision opens up the world of the giant panda as experienced by a vanguard research team led by Wenshi Pan during the 1980s and 1990s... a clear, meaningful window into the ecology and conservation of this iconic species.