Giant panda movements in Foping Nature Reserve, China

Xuehua Liu*, Andrew K. Skidmore, Tiejun Wang, Yange Yong, Herbert H T Prins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)


Observing the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in the remote mountains of Foping Nature Reserve (NR), China, is difficult due to the dense vegetation and steep terrain. Radiotracking is an effective way to study this animal and understand its behavior and habitat use. We used radiotracking data from 3 male and 3 female pandas to study their movement patterns between 1991 and 1995 in Foping NR. Our results show that the pandas in Foping NR occupied 2 distinct seasonal ranges (specifically, winter and summer activity ranges) and had a regular seasonal movement between the winter range below 1,950 m and the summer range above 2,160 m. The pandas climbed from the winter to the summer habitats within a period of 8 days from 7 to 15 June, and descended to the winter habitat between 1 September and 6 October. Therefore, the pandas spent about three-fourths of the year (average 243 days) in their winter activity range and an average of 78 days in the summer activity range. Our results provide managers with more accurate information about the pandas' movements quantitatively and visually, which can contribute to panda conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1188
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Ailuropoda melanoleuca
  • China
  • Foping Nature Reserve
  • geographic information system
  • giant panda
  • movement pattern
  • quantitative study
  • tracking

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    Liu, X., Skidmore, A. K., Wang, T., Yong, Y., & Prins, H. H. T. (2002). Giant panda movements in Foping Nature Reserve, China. Journal of Wildlife Management, 66(4), 1179-1188.