Earthwatch: China - On the Trail of Giant Pandas

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Work up close with giant pandas cared for in captivity, and help this endangered species adapt to life in the wild. Volunteer to travel to the Wolong Nature Reserve in the Sichuan province of China! This exciting project takes place over two Na... read more

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Work up close with giant pandas cared for in captivity, and help this endangered species adapt to life in the wild. Volunteer to travel to the Wolong Nature Reserve in the Sichuan province of China!

This exciting project takes place over two Nature Reserves. At the Ya'an Bifengxia panda base, you'll monitor mother pandas and newborn cubs – and may even observe the birthing process for a cub, depending on what time of year you join us. You'll prepare and deliver bamboo to the captive pandas, and help keep their living area clean. As an Earthwatch team member, you’ll be granted special access to the breeding area and nursery of the panda base, which remain closed to the general public throughout the year. Volunteers on our July and August teams will join us in the midst of birthing and breeding season, allowing them the chance to observe some rare moments that could make their experience truly elite.

At the Wolong panda wilderness training base, you'll monitor 'trainees,' record their behavior to assist with their wilderness training and evaluate how prepared they are to survive in the wild. You may even have the opportunity to put on a panda suit and deliver bamboo to these charismatic bears.

You'll also survey and monitor wild panda populations in the Wolong Reserve, where you'll also spend a night camping.

On your last night at the Wolong Reserve, Tibetan and Qiang communities will present an evening fire party with a barbecue and traditional dancing.

Collectively, your responsibilities will work towards the long-term goal of 'reinforcing' small and isolated populations of wild panda in the region, through the strategic release of captive pandas. Your experience will last a lifetime, and it could help the giant panda population longer than that!

Program Type(s):
Volunteer
Program Length(s):
  • Custom
  • Short Term
Instruction Language(s):
  • English
Language Requirement(s):
  • English
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