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Why Rewild Captive Pandas

The basic goal of Breeding giant panda in zoos is to establish a self-sustaining captive population of pandas. The ultimate goal is to release captive individual pandas into the wild environment, and to rebuild or restore wild populations.

The initial stage of development of captive giant panda population is a process of gradually reducing dependence on wild populations. Once the stage of self-sustainment is reached, that is, the dependence on wild populations is eliminated, there would naturally be an ability to provide captive individuals to the wild. Then, we could rebuild or rehabilitate the wild populations, and to achieve a positive interaction between the wild and captive populations.

1) A proper release of captive individuals is conducive to the improvement of the survival of wild giant pandas.

As mentioned above, for isolated small populations of wild giant pandas, proper addition of captive individuals can increase the population size, enhance its ability to cope with environmental fluctuations and other random disturbances. It can also improve the genetic structure of the population and increase genetic diversity, reduce inbreeding, thereby maintaining the potential for long-term evolution and development of the population in nature.

2) After reaching the number of populations capable of self-sustainment, reintroduction can to a certain extent reduce the load brought by the increased size of captive populations.

After achieving the basic goal of self-sustainment, maintaining more races in a captive environment is not only a waste of the race itself, but it also brings an increased pressure on human, material and financial resources. In this case, a proper release of captive individuals is not a bad idea either for the development of races or for the reduction of government resources.

3) Accumulate experiences with returning pandas to the wild and provide references for other large and medium-sized endangered species

Releasing them to the wild is a risky project. The wild release of this special species is helpful to provide examples and references for the release of other captive species in all aspects.

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