Fussy pandas maintain a balanced diet of bamboo

Pandas migrate long distances in order to maintain nutritionally balanced diets of bamboo.

Researchers from the University of Sydney and the Chinese Academy of Sciences used a unique approach to characterise four distinct diets that pandas switch between depending on their nutritional needs, through monitoring what pandas in the Qinling Mountains of China ate as they migrated and reproduced.

The animals switched between the nutritionally distinct shoots and leaves of two species of bamboo, arranging their mirgatory and reproductive habits around access to these food types.

As nutritional balancing is essential to species’ survival, the research is important for understanding the nutritional basis of food selection in the management of endangered species encountering environmental change.

Read more at University of Sydney