China sets up Qinling giant panda research center
XI'AN, June 14 (Xinhua) -- A research center dedicated to the study of the Qinling giant panda has been established in the northwestern city of Xi'an in Shaanxi Province.
The center, set up on Wednesday, focuses on five research fields: conservation biology, genetics, physiology, disease prevention and nutrition. Besides research, the center will also train talent, organize academic exchanges, and offer consultation, said Dang Shuangren, deputy head of Shaanxi forestry department.
The center will especially focus on the Qinling giant panda, a subspecies first recognized in 2005. The Qinling giant panda has a smaller and rounder skull, shorter snout and less fur than the more familiar Sichuan subspecies.
"There are some rare brown giant pandas which belong to the Qinling subspecies," Dang said. "The center also aims to decode the biological mysteries hidden in the brown pandas."
Shaanxi currently has 22 artificially raised giant pandas.