Qinling panda

Qinling panda/Brown panda
Qi Zai, the only brown panda in captivity, born 2008
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ailuropoda
A. m. qinlingensis
Trinomial name
Ailuropoda melanoleuca qinlingensis
Wan, Wu & Fang, 2005

The Qinling panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca qinlingensis) is a subspecies of the giant panda, discovered in the 1960s[citation needed] but not recognized as a subspecies until 2005.[1][2] Besides the nominate subspecies, it is the first giant panda subspecies to be recognized.


It differs from the more familiar nominate subspecies by its smaller skull and dark brown and light brown (rather than black and white) fur, and its smaller overall size.[3] Its eye spots are under the lower lid, instead of around the eyes. Brown pandas are very rare.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This subspecies is restricted to the Qinling Mountains, at elevations of 1,300–3,000 metres (4,300–9,800 ft). Its coloration is possibly a consequence of inbreeding: as the population is closed off from genetic variation and this might have led to the preservation of the mutation responsible.[1][3]

Conservation and threats[edit]

There were an estimated 100 Qinling pandas living in the wild as of 2001.[3]

On August 30, 1989, a female of this species was captured and brought to the Xi'an Zoo to be mated with a regular giant panda. This panda's offspring was black-and-white, but reportedly started becoming brownish as it aged. According to other reports she gave birth to three cubs, all of whom died shortly after being born. The mother, named Dan-Dan, died in 2000.[4]

Due to the Qinling subspecies being restricted in range, it has been exposed to metal toxicants such as copper, nickel, lead, and zinc that are now present in bamboo and soil as a result of the environmental pollution that is ongoing in China. More specifically, studies have indicated that the Qinling subspecies faces such anthropogenic threats so directly due to the fact that heavy concentrations of metals in bamboo and soil are positively correlated with high elevations, thus the Qinling Mountain Range is increasingly affected.[5] Therefore, the conservation of the Qinling pandas may be compromised in the future due to air pollution in China.

Dental health is important for the survival of the Qinling Pandas. These pandas have a survival rate of 5-20 years. The most common dental abnormalities that Qinling Pandas face are dental attrition and fractures. These two abnormalities can impact the survival rate of these pandas.[6]


  1. ^ a b Zhang, Baowei; Li, Ming; Zhang, Zejun; Goossens, Benoît; Zhu, Lifeng; Zhang, Shanning; Hu, Jinchu; Bruford, Michael W.; Wei, Fuwen (2007). "Genetic Viability and Population History of the Giant Panda, Putting an End to the 'Evolutionary Dead End'?". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 24 (8): 1801–1810. doi:10.1093/molbev/msm099. PMID 17513881.
  2. ^ 秦岭大熊猫被确认为新亚种 [Qinling panda recognized as new subspecies] (in Chinese). Chinese Academy of Sciences. 15 February 2005. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Qiu-Hong Wan; Hua Wu; Sheng-Guo Fang (2005). "A new subspecies of giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) from Shaanxi, China". Journal of Mammalogy. 86 (2): 397–402. doi:10.1644/BRB-226.1. JSTOR 4094359.
  4. ^ "Sepia Giant Panda". Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  5. ^ Zhao, Yan; Chen, Yi-ping; Ellison, Aaron; Liu, Wan-gang; Dong, Chen (June 10, 2019). "Establish an environmentally sustainable Giant Panda National Park in the Qinling Mountains". Science of the Total Environment. 668: 979–987. Bibcode:2019ScTEn.668..979Z. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.03.070. S2CID 107733260. Retrieved October 25, 2021.
  6. ^ Jin, Yipeng; Chen, Si; Chao, Yanqiao; Pu, Tianchun; Xu, Hongqian; Liu, Xiaobin; Zhao, Kaihui; Nie, Yonggang; Wei, Wei; Lin, Degui (2015). "Dental Abnormalities of Eight Wild Qinling Giant Pandas (Ailuropoda Melanoleuca Qinlingensis), Shaanxi Province, China". Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 51 (4): 849–859. doi:10.7589/2014-12-289. PMID 26280879. S2CID 2894128.

External links[edit]