YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.
Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.
ABOUT THE PANDA CONSERVATION CENTRE
The Woolong Nature Reserve was first established in June 1980 by the World Wildlife
Fund (WWF) and the Chines Government as a research centre for endangered animals
in China. This led to the opening of the Giant Panda Conservation Centre in 2004.
Since the beginning of this movement, 66 Giant panda cubs have successfully been
The purpose of the Conservation Centre is to increase the numbers of Giant Pandas
found in the world and potentially
begin to reintroduce them back into the wild. This requires the protection of their
natural habitat and their major food source, bamboo.
The Panda centre has established a 90% survival rate for Giant Panda cubs due to
its development in raising twin cubs. In nature a Panda is only able to raise and
protect one cub at a time. However,
with the help of caretakers in the nursery, they are able to leave one cub with
the mother to nurse and bond, while another is placed in an incubator and hand-raised.
Here Staff will stay with the baby panda for 24 hours a day, every day, for one
week and then the cubs are swopped around. This results in both cubs being able
to be naturally raised by their mother and receive the care that only she is able
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome
Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet
where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator
for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well
as while you're on your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide
and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching
Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all
we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome,
elegant and beautiful country.
ARRIVAL AND TRANSPORT TO YOUR PROJECT
Please note that this will vary from week to week and season to season. You'LL fly
into Chengdu airport on a Sunday where you will be collected by one of our coordinators.
You will then travel to Chengdu City which is approx. 30-40 minutes away where you
will spend your first day, giving you time to relax and rest. Monday will be spent
touring the city of Chengdu including the local markets, parks and later you will
be invited to a welcome dinner.
The following morning you will be transferred to the Panda base which is approx.
3 hours away, where you will have lunch at the panda base with a briefing and introduction
to your work content in the afternoon. Registration will also take place, where
you will receive your uniform and volunteer card before you will receive a guided
tour before dinner.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're
used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should
be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all
our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!
WHY IS THE GIANT PANDA ENDANGERED?
Giant Pandas are naturally solitary creatures that move freely from area to area
seeking out fresh bamboo (their staple
diet), creating avenues in order to come together in spring and mate. This magnificent
creature that is known to have survive the ice age, has over the years been faced
with great challenges,
such as their natural habitat decreasing significantly due to the expansion of humans:
the development of new roads, towns and power lines resulting in the need for more
logging and thus haltering the natural migration and contributing to the lack of
bamboo. (Bamboo requires shade in order to grow.)
This has resulted in Giants Pandas being unable to find new food and thus preventing
male and female Giant Pandas from
finding one another and being able to mate and increase their numbers in the wild.
The 2008 earthquake in China also had a devastating effect on the Giant Pandas'
natural habitat and food sources, thus further decreasing the number of Giant Pandas
found in the wild.
REQUIREMENTS AND NOTES:
China is still a developing country in a period of transition. The living standard
falls short of what we are used to in the West. The Chinese culture and heritage
is totally different to Anglo-Saxon or Western cultures. However, the people are
very friendly. China is a non-English speaking environment and it would benefit
youi to try to learn a few basic Chinese words before starting your programme. This
will help you to get involved in the daily life of the local people.