, one of the dominant bamboo species distributed at the elevation between 1 000-1 900 m of Qinling Mountains, is an important food source for the Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca
). The habitat preference of the Giant Panda for different bamboo forests is hardly known. To investigate the relationship between the bamboo and Giant Pandas, we conducted a study on the food selection of the Giant Pandas on the B. fargesii
at Foping National Nature Reserve, Shaanxi Province in the winter of 2004 and the spring of 2005. Forty-five transects (about 17.3 km/Each) across the reserve and 159 large samples (20 mx20 m each) were surveyed. The data about the density, coverage, basal diameter, average height and proportion of the young B. fargesii
were collected in the sample and the characteristic of the bamboo previously bitten by the Giant Pandas. The result indicated that pandas mainly foraged on old bamboo in the B. fargesii
forest in which the proportion of young bamboo was as low as the proportion of died bamboo in the winter. In the spring, however, the pandas showed strong preference for B. fargesii
forests with lower densities, larger basal diameters and higher proportion of young bamboos. Most pandas selected to habitat with a large density of growing B. fargesii
, and young bamboos were the pandas' favorite food. When bamboo shoots bourgeoned, the thick shoots among the sparse B. fargesii
forests with larger basal diameters became the major food source for those pandas.