Wolong panda National Natural Reserve
Note: The Wolong National Nature Reserve was badly damaged in the May 12 earthquake. For security reasons, the pandas have been moved to Bifengxia Base of China Panda Protection and Research Center. They will come back to Wolong after it is repaired.
Wolong Panda Reserve in the east of Mt. Qionglai, and a 3-hours drive from Chengdu, is a comprehensive state natural reserve of 200,000 hectares (i.e. 494,200 acres). Begun in 1963, Wolong National Natural Reserve is the earliest, largest and best-known panda reserve in China. It was placed on UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Network in 1980.
Sixty-seven captive pandas are among 150 pandas in Wolong Panda Reserve managed by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. The Center was founded in 1980 with assistance from World Wildlife Fund.
Hi-tech is commonplace in the Research Center, which is a world leader in propagating the panda species. Tourists can take pictures with mice-like panda babies.
People from all nations are welcome to adopt pandas through naming them with an accompanying donation. Pandas are national treasures and also goodwill ambassadors.
Wildlife observation spots opened in Wolong National Natural Reserve attract explorers, tourists, animal-lovers as well as scientists. Occasionally wild pandas may show up in the Reserve. Every year more than 100, 000 visitors come to Wolong National Natural Reserve.
Reputed as bio-gene bank both at home and abroad, Wolong National Natural Reserve is home not only to the giant pandas but also to rare and endangered animals such as red panda, golden monkey, white-lipped deer (Cervus albirostris), gnu (wildebeest) and precious plants like yew and beech. Other major places of interests in Wolong Panda Reserve include: animal and plant specimen museum, local plant specimen No.2170, bird specimen No.225, beast No. 56, insects No.700 and fish No. 6 and amphibious reptiles No.17.
Wolong National Natural Reserve is a fairyland for tourists. Wolong National Natural Reserve enjoys warm and humid climate favorable to bamboo, pandas' favorite food. At the same time, 101 mountains are above 5, 000 meters (16,400 feet) varying from 6, 250 meters (20,500 feet) to 1, 150 meters (3, 772 feet). These contribute to bio-diversity preservation as well as spectacular beauty of natural scene in Wolong National Natural Reserve.