Panda conservation began in China during the 1940s. This effort was initially restricted to field research. In 1963, the Chinese government created Woolong as a forest reserve. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has been working with the Chinese government on panda protection since 1980. Panda conservation management plans are attempting to increase the pandas' chance for survival by: reducing human activities in panda habitats, rehabilitating panda habitats, adding additional panda reserves, and strengthening conservation education and public awareness.
Pandas are the second most threatened species in the world. Only about 1000 pandas are estimated to live in the wild. Destruction of the panda's natural habitat is now the major threat to the survival of the species. In the eleven years from 1973 to 1984, suitable panda habitats shrunk by 50% in the six isolated areas where pandas live. Human activity - logging, animal grazing, and agriculture - are the major sources of habitat destruction. Wolong Panda Club is an environmental-friendly organization which is keen to attract more people around the world to pay more attention to the giant panda and cherish the environmental resources. Its slogan "Caring Giant Panda, Caring Ourselves" is becoming more popular in China.
- Skills/Qualification. There are no specific qualifications required since the professional staff members at the panda conservation center will provide necessary orientation and training to adequately perform duties pertaining to panda conservation. However, an agreement is to be signed prior to your arrival and terms and conditions are strictly observed for the duration of the project period.
- Volunteers' responsibilities. Volunteers in the panda conservation projects are involved in various activities. Under close direction and supervision of the already-existing professional staff members, volunteers will assist in caring for and feeding the center's panda, cleaning their habitats, observing various panda behavior (rutting, mating), assist in administering physical examinations, cub training, ultrasounds, cub-births, breeding, etc. (duties often vary from season to season). Volunteers are able to conduct vital research while studying these fascinating creatures which face closely-impending extinction.
- Room/ Food. IFRE provides living accommodations and three (3) meals a day in near by motel or simple hotel. Volunteers will have their own private, comfortable rooms with a bathroom, toilet, sink, and shower. Food will be provided inside the panda conservation center where volunteers will have meals consisting of traditional Chinese fare. Panda Conservation program starts on the first and third Monday of each month
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