The Effect of Early Rearing Experience on Adult Reproductive Behavior in Captive Giant Pandas and Spectacled Bears
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The present study examined the relationship between early rearing experience and reproductive competence in captive adult giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and spectacled bears (Tremarctos ornatus). Life history information of 52 giant pandas and 34 spectacled bears were obtained from the International Studbook and by interviewing staff at institutions housing the subjects. The early rearing experience variables included duration of mother rearing, social access within 1-yr period following maternal separation, and birth origin. Correlation, Chi-square, and logistic regression analyses were used to analyze the data. Contrary to findings from studies with other animals, the results generally suggest that early rearing experience is not related to adult reproductive success in giant pandas and spectacled bears. Alternative explanation and limitation of the study were discussed; suggestions were made for future study.