A team of researchers from the Michigan State University have now found that pandas are actually quite sociable, even more than earlier believed. The researchers made use of GPS collars to track pandas, and concluded that these animals actually like to spend time together for a few weeks at a time.
They observed and monitored 5 pandas- a female Pan Pan, Mei Mei, and Zhong Zhong, a young female Long long and a male named Chuan Chuan.
These pandas belonged to the Wolong Nature Reserve in Southwest China, and were collared with GPS from 2010-2012.
Based on the data that the scientists gathered through the GPS system, they found that pandas love to spend time together in the same part of the forest, every few weeks in a row.
“We can see it clearly wasn’t just a fluke, we could see they were in the same locations, which we never would have expected for that length of time and at that time of year,” the researchers said. “This might be evidence that pandas are not as solitary as once widely believed,” she added.
Moreover, the researchers also found that the panda diet could be solely based on bamboo leaves, and there is a time which reminds them of returning to the same spot, as it reminds them of a good dining experience.
“They pretty much sit down and eat their way out of an area, but then need to move on to the next place,” they added.
The use of GPS collars are now allowed under the endangered protection law.
In China, the use of GPS collars is now allowed under the endangered protection law. The study was the first of its kind that involved the said technology.
Currently, 1596 pandas are found in the wilderness today.