BEIJING, China (Reuters) -- Chinese scientists will use satellite technology to peep on the sexual antics of China's highly endangered giant pandas, Xinhua news agency said.

The $660,000 joint project between two Chinese and U.S.-based zoological institutes would use global positioning (GPS) to keep an eye on giant pandas and their mating behavior deep in the wilds of a nature reserve in central Shaanxi province.

"Tracking them with advanced technology and observing their sex activities might help us find ways to avoid their extinction," Wei Fuwen, from the China Academy of Sciences' Institute of Zoology, was quoted as saying.

"Giant pandas are inaccessible for long periods of time and traditional observation cannot unravel the ecological mystery of the animals."

Pandas in the wild are rebounding from the brink of extinction, but they are not yet out of danger, in large part because of great difficulties in producing cubs.

Nearly 80 percent of female pandas were unable to get pregnant and 90 percent of males were sterile, Xinhua said without elaborating.