WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Today, the Giant Panda's future remains uncertain. This peaceful, bamboo-eating member of the bear family faces a number of threats. One of the main challenges is that forested areas in China's mountainous areas have become fragmented, leading to Giant Panda populations becoming ever-smaller and more isolated from each other. Additionally, poaching remains en ever-present threat.
Conservation efforts are being made to protect the panda by creating national parks and preventing further deforestation. These protected areas provide pandas with the environment required for them to thrive. There are currently over 50 national parks in China that are home to wild pandas, but with a large proportion of the population living outside these areas, they have been left vulnerable to further deforestation and other anthropogenic threats. Panda breeding centres are an essential part of the work to help restore and maintain a healthy population, conducting vital research in to all aspect of panda behaviour whilst also breeding, caring for and releasing pandas in to the wild when possbile.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Volunteers will be spending five days a week working with the pandas at the centre, while for half a day per week you will have the chance to provide care for other native animals such as the black bear, takin, golden monkey and crested ibis. Working 8am to 5pm each day. On your first day you will receive an orientation session and any necesary training you need whilst working on the project.
Your daily activities will include the following, however, be prepared to be flexible as these may change depending on the needs of the centre at the time of your placement.
Panda enclosure cleaning
Animal enrichment work
Engagement in panda research work
Bamboo cleaning and planting
Engagement in panda talks
Caring for other native species
Volunteers will not only have the opportunity to benefit from working with animals, but will have the unique chance to work with the local community, teaching English at a local school to students and panda base staff.