CHENGDU, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- An survey to determine if wild giant pandas are at risk from epidemic diseases began earlier this month in the southwestern province of Sichuan.
Researchers will collect samples of droppings and hair across ten nature reserves in the province, said Wang Fei, a wild animal epidemic prevention official with Sichuan Forestry Administration.
The survey, the first of its kind in the province, will be completed by the end of October, he said.
Sichuan is home to 1,387 wild giant pandas; 74.4 percent of China's wild panda population.
The samples will be analyzed to identify the pathogens carried by wild giant pandas, said Wang.
Wild giant pandas are known to be carriers of pathogens, but a more detailed survey is needed to define the exact pathogenic condition, he said.