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Odds & Ends --- Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda

The giant panda is beloved by people from all over the world. It is a symbol of world biodiversity conservation, peace and friendship. The giant panda is also nature's gift to Chengdu and the province of Sichuan. It is a special and highly valued resouce in Chengdu.All local and foreign visitors enjoy the beauty of giant pandas. They are also deeply concerned with the current status and future of giant pandas.

Giant pandas at the Chengdu Research Base live in large naturalistic habitats, which help the visitor to understand how these animals live in the wild . It is an excellent recreational area and a highlight of any visit to Chengdu.

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is located in the northern suburb of Chengdu on Futou Hill. It is 10 km from downtown Chengdu, and can be reached by the Panda Road.

Many types of bamboo, trees, and flowers thrive at the Research Base.Several species of birds also make their home there. The human-made structures have been designed to blend well with the natural scenery. Endangered species such as giant pandas, red pandas, and black-necked cranes reproduce well at the Research Base. Also located at the Research Base is the Giant Panda Museum which provides interesting educational information about a variety of species native to China. Eighty five percent of the habitat for endangered species native to China. Eighty five percent of the wild panda population resides in Sichuan. Wild giant pandas can be found in the Chengdu governed areas of Chongzhou, Dujiangyan, Dayi, Pengzhou, and Qionglai.

The Research Base is one of the important centers in China for the captive conservation of giant pandas. The current goal is to increase the captive population of giant pandas.The ultimate goal is to reintroduce giant pandas to the wild. To achieve this goal certain pandas will be raised in such a way as to provide them with the necessary skills to survive in the wild. Reintroduction of captive animals to the wild will both increase the number of individuals and the genetic diversity of the wild population. The Research Base hopes to help ensure the survival of giant pandas and increase the chances for giant pandas to cexist with humankind.

It is internationally recognized that there are two key methods involved in the conservation of endangered species:1 ) protection and preservation of wild habitat, and 2 ) establishment and maintenance of a self-sustaining survived. From 1963 to 1997,197 giant panda cubs in 131litters were born in captivity. The overall survival rateis 59.4% ). The overall survival rate for curbs to the age of three years is 35.5%(in Chengdu this survival rate 48.8%).

The Chengdu Research Base and the Chengdu Zoo jointlyhouse 33% of the captive giant panda embryo transfer and genome resource banking for endangered species are focused on. Many famous Chinese scientists are conducting preliminary research in this laboratory on giant panda embryo transfer, and have obtained some signigicant results.

The Giant Panda Museum was estabilished in 1992. This is the only museum in the world which foocuses entirely on the critically endangered giant panda. In addition to the Giant Panda Museum, a Batterfly and Vertebrate Museum have also recently been opened. These three separate museums work collectively to educate visitors. The three separate museums work collectively to educate visitors. The three museums occupy a total area 12,450 preserved specimens from 2140 species of mammals,birds,reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, and fossils. Many of the species on exhibit are books from China and other countries. This is a comprehensive museum which educates visitors on full range of tropics including: biodiversity, conservation, reproduction, and wildlife husbandry.

The Research Base has welcomed many levels of government officials and over 100,000 visitors from China and scientific achievements of the Research Base have been highly praised by visitors. As a result of these achievements, the Research Base have been highly praised by visitors. As a result of these achievements, the Research Base received the following awards: 1) Global 500 Award from the United Nations Enviromental Planning Department; 2)China's Gold Medal for scientific technology of plants, which is the highest award given for China's enviromental protection, and 3) the Excellent National Projject for Comprehensive Improvement of Environment Award.

The construction of the Research Base and its achievements exemplify the Chinese goverment's high level of concern and willingness to take responsibility for enviromental protection. The Research Base represents China's highest goals for enviromental protection. The Research Base represents China's highest goals for conservation and wildlife management.The Research Base represents China's highest goals for conservation and wildlife management. The Chinese goverment's promise to the international society, when it signed a contract to conserve biodiversity, has been partially fufilled with the construction of the Research Base.The Research base promotes Chengdu's captive population. The Chengdu Municipal Goverment decided to eatablish the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in March 1987. Leaders of the Central Goverment, Provincial Goverment,and Municipal Goverment, as well as people from foreign countries, have all contributed to building the Research Base. Over a decade of construction has resulted in the completion of the first and second phases of development. The first and second phases of development.

The first and second phase encompass an area of 37 hectares and contain: research buildings, laboratories, veterinary facilities,welcoming center,and the giant Panda Museum, and naturalistic enclosures for giant pandas, red pandas and black-necked cranes. The total investment to date is 50 million RMB(about 6.1 million U.S.dollars).In 1993, the Chengdu Municial Goverment decided to build the third phrase of the project convering an area of 203 hectares. The third phrase invovles construction of enclosures which simulate the wild habitat of giant pandas. The purpose of these enclosures is to prepare captive-born pandas for reintroduction into the wild.

The Research Base and the Chengdu Zoo curently house 21 giant pandas, over 20 red pandas, black-necked cranes, and white storks. There are 14 species of bamboo, and 300 other plant species at the Research Base. Ninety species of birds also make their home there.

Many talented and knowledgeable scientists work at the Research Base, which has the most technologically advanced facilities in China. Scientific idaes and information are exchanged and cooperative research is conducted between experts at the Research Base scientists in universities and research institutions throughout China and other countries. Several breakthoughs have been made by Research Base scientists in basic and applied research on endangered species, like the giant panda.Fifty projects have been applied research on endangered species, like the giant panda. Thirty of these projects have won national, provincial , and municipal Science Thechnology Awards. Some of these research projects are the most advanced in the world, such as rearing of twin cubs by one mother, DNA paternity determination, endangered species sperm-banking, and etiology and prevention for hemorrighic entertis. In 1993 and 1997, Chengdu hosted two major Panda Symposia.

Since 1980-1997, 46 cubs in 31 litters have been born in captivity in Chengdu. Of these cubs, 27 cubs have survived. Mei Mei a female panda from Chengdu has been describes as a " supermom",because she gave birth to 11 cubs in nine litters of which seven cubs survived. Her daughter Qing Qing surpassed her by giving birth to 10 cubs in six litters, and they reputation as the "hometown" of giant pandas. One of the highlights of any visit to Chengdu,the Research Base helps visitors to become familiar with Chengdu and giant pandas. Visitors are also educated about enviromental protection and science.

In 1993, The Chengdu Municipal Goverment agreed with the Chengdu Travel Bureau's plan to construct the China Panda City in Chengdu. The Research Base is one of the main parts of the China panda City and encompasses an area of 240 hectares. The second part of the China Panda City is a tourism develomendt area, which will be 170 hetares in size. The Research Base was built by the Chengdu Garden Bureau. The tourism development area will be built by Chengdu Tourism Bureau.


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