Chinese Pandas

China is about to engage in a once-every-ten-year count of giant pandas living in the wild.

The official China Daily reported that upwards of sixty trackers are being trained at Wanglang National Reserve in the southwestern province of Sichuan – a province that is believed to have the largest number of wild pandas in China.

Here’s what they will do to take their census:

They will start by collecting droppings for a DNA analysis that will allow zoologists to track individual pandas and accurately estimate the population, Chen Youping, the director of the reserve’s administrative department, was quoted as saying by Xinhua News Agency.

Also, the census is expected to bring to light more on living conditions, age structure and changes of habitat of the endangered species.

The last census counted 1,596 wild pandas in China, 1,206 of which were living in Sichuan.

Wild pandas are threatened by a loss of habitat, poaching and that they are poor breeders. Females in the wild normally have a cub once every two or three years.

The trackers will begin a pilot survey at the nature reserve this week which is expected to end by the beginning of the month of July.