[Federal Register: April 12, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 69)]
[Page 17675-17676]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of Giant Panda Research Reports

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of the availability of the Zoological Society of San 
Diego's Giant Panda Research Reports.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
availability of the Zoological Society of San Diego's (ZSSD) giant 
panda research reports. The Service issued a permit in 1995 to the ZSSD 
to import two giant pandas for scientific research. The ZSSD imported 
the pandas in September 1996. Their research is focused on 
investigations of the communication system of giant pandas, 
particularly olfaction. The ZSSD is required to submit an annual report 
summarizing their research results for each year. The Service is making 
the reports received to date available to help educate the public and 
to promote cooperation/collaboration in giant panda conservation 

DATES: The Service will accept requests to obtain a copy of the 
research reports for 60 days after April 12, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Send your requests to obtain a copy of the research reports 
to the Chief, Office of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 700, Arlington, Virginia 22203. 
You may also send your request by fax at 703-358-2281.

Management Authority, telephone (703) 358-2093 or fax (703) 358-2280, 
(see ADDRESSES section).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The giant panda is subject to strict 
protection by its listing as an endangered species under the U.S. 
Endangered Species Act (ESA) and it inclusion in Appendix-I of the 
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The 
Service is responsible for protecting pandas by regulating certain 
activities, including whether to grant permits to allow their movement 
into and within the United States. In making these decisions under the 
ESA, the Service must determine whether the proposed activity is not 
likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the giant panda and 
would be for scientific research that promotes conservation of the 
species or enhancement of propagation or survival. Under CITES, the 
Service must determine if the activity would be for

[[Page 17676]]

purposes that are not detrimental to the survival of the species and 
that are not primarily commercial.
    The ZSSD applied for and was granted a permit in 1995 to import two 
giant pandas for scientific research. They imported the pandas in 
September 1996. Conditions of the permit require the ZSSD to submit an 
annual report summarizing the research they conducted for that year. 
The ZSSD's research is primarily focused on investigating the 
communication system of giant pandas, particularly the olfactory 
modality. Their investigations on captive pandas can have implications 
for management of pandas in the wild. Olfactory signaling plays a key 
role in mate location, maintaining community social structure and 
spatial regulation. The ZSSD's panda research has four basic goals: (1) 
to develop new methodologies for assessing population trends and 
habitat use in China's spatially restricted reserves; (2) to increase 
the understanding of physiology, behavior, and reproductive biology, in 
particular those aspects that would assist in the management of the 
wild population; (3) to contribute to a more viable collaborative 
structure for international research efforts in all spheres where giant 
pandas are found; and (4) to contribute to the process of educating 
governments, conservation NGOs and the general public on the giant 
panda's attributes and vulnerability to extinction.
    The ZSSD is addressing these goals through a series of studies that 
have specific aims. The reports reflect the progress that the ZSSD has 
made toward these goals.

    Dated: March 30, 1999.
Teiko Saito,
Chief, Office of Management Authority.
[FR Doc. 99-9028 Filed 4-9-99; 8:45 am]