Dwelling in zoos exterior their pure atmosphere could disrupt the our bodies and behavior of large pandas, new analysis suggests.
Specialists say their physique clocks can find yourself out of sync – leaving them much less energetic and affecting their sexual behaviour.
Teachers on the College of Stirling in Scotland studied 11 large pandas at six zoos for a 12 months.
The affect they expertise has been in comparison with how seasonal affective dysfunction impacts people.
Kristine Gandia, who led the research, mentioned: “We discovered that housing large pandas in zoos exterior of their pure latitudinal vary, the place environmental cues like mild have completely different cycles to these which they’ve developed for, has an impact on rhythms of behaviour all through the day and throughout the 12 months.
“Animals synchronise their inner clocks to exterior cues like mild and temperature in order that they’ll show adaptive rhythms of behaviour like sleeping or consuming on the proper instances of day or mating at one of the best time of 12 months.
“When inner clocks are usually not synchronised with exterior cues like mild and temperature, animals expertise antagonistic results.
“In people, this may vary from jet lag to metabolic points and seasonal affective dysfunction.”
Ms Gandia added: “We discovered that big pandas housed in zoos at larger latitudes than their pure vary will present decrease ranges of exercise.
“We additionally discovered sexual-related behaviours and irregular and repetitive behaviours have related rhythms all year long, implying that big pandas could show irregular and repetitive behaviours when they’re unable to precise sexual-related behaviours, changing one behaviour for the opposite.”
The researchers used webcams to observe the large pandas at six zoos each inside and outdoors pandas’ pure habitat, noting basic exercise, sexual behaviour, and irregular behaviour.
The animals have been noticed between midnight and 6am at common intervals all year long, from December 2020 till November 2021.