Making Pandas "Permanent Residents" in Park Cities
China Environment News

A couple of days ago, workers at Longchi Station, Dujiangyan Management and Conservation Station of Sichuan Giant Panda National Park, while collecting data from the infrared camera in Longxi-Hongkou National Nature Reserve, found that a wild giant panda was alone in the vicinity of an artificial water point. The giant panda sometimes sat in a pool to "take a bath" and sometimes lay on its back to "roll" on the grass, as if a playful child was leisurely "strolling" in the park, with charmingly naive behaviors, making the panda really adorable.

A comfortable and restful environment is what allows wild giant pandas to drop their guard. In recent years, a lot of work has been done in Dujiangyan City to improve the level of protection and management in terms of resource conservation, scientific research monitoring, exchange and cooperation, and popular science education, etc. In the reserve, the population quantity of endangered wild animals such as giant panda and golden snub-nosed monkeys is on the increase, endangered wild plants are well conserved, and the natural ecosystem and natural landscape of mountains and canyons are gradually restored. It is the only national nature reserve in Chengdu that has been rated as "excellent".

"We have made great efforts in resource conservation, carried out active investigation on background resources, organized more than 10 field investigation projects and scientific investigation activities, such as comprehensive scientific investigation after the Wenchuan earthquake on May 12, special investigation and research on takin, etc., and earnestly grasped the biodiversity, landscape ecosystem, potential available resources, etc." said Wang Jian, director of the Office of Dujiangyan Ecological Environment Protection Committee in Chengdu. In addition, they also carried out frequent daily patrol around the conservation of animals and plants, and made full use of wireless digital video surveillance, UAV and other high-tech means to severely crack down on illegal activities such as destroying forest resources, poaching, unlawful felling and hunting.

They have also strengthened scientific research monitoring, by monitoring the breeding of rare plants, biodiversity of giant panda habitats, natural succession of vegetation in earthquakes and other projects, and dynamically monitoring the basic data of animals and plants; explored the rewilding mechanism of giant pandas, looked for international cooperation funds to build an adaptive training circle project for giant pandas, and set up a monitoring team for the rewilding of giant pandas; rewilded two giant pandas named "Qingxin" and "Xiaohetao" in cooperation with China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda in the reserve, and carried out field monitoring for two years, which was the very first rewilding project in Chengdu.

In terms of exchange and cooperation, they have established cooperation with domestic and foreign conservation and research institutions such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Shanshui Conservation Center, and Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and have carried out a series of scientific research cooperation programs such as comprehensive scientific investigation in the Longxi-Hongkou National Nature Reserve, habitat field survey and patrol collaboration system research for giant pandas, to further enhance conservation capability.

"We have also innovatively set up 'Panda Classroom' in the whole country, 12 demonstration bases for nature education, with more than 300 panda lecturers and panda volunteers, and actively carried out natural science education activities such as 'Giant Panda Eco-tourism Festival' and 'UNDP Pambassador into Dujiangyan', to strengthen the publicity and education of natural science in an experiential and immersive way," said Zhou Hongliang, deputy director of Dujiangyan Management and Conservation Station of Sichuan Giant Panda National Park. In the publicity and education platform of "Waziping" Nature Reserve, comprehensive nature education integrating science popularization, publicity, education and exhibition were carried out through the exhibition of animal and plant specimens, introduction of natural science knowledge, exhibition of interactive facilities, and construction of popular science trails.

In particular, Dujiangyan City, together with China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) and other institutions, has also published the popular science education series Giant Panda Home, which was among the national textbooks on ecological morality education for minors, and included in the classroom experimental teaching of seven primary schools in Dujiangyan City.