Wolong Giant Panda Volunteer Reference
Basic Information On The China Conservation And Research Center For The Giant Panda
- In 1980 the Chinese government decided to setup the world's first Giant Panda conservation and research center in the Wolong National Nature Reserve called China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) to further the protection and research work on Giant Panda conservation. The Center is made up of three areas: Wuyipeng wild Giant Panda zoology observation station, Hetaoping captive Giant Panda breeding base in Wolong and the Center of Scientific Research in Ya'an city, Sichuan province.
- CCRCGP focuses on the giant panda's habitat protection and carries out research on the Giant Panda's behavior, ecology, breeding, propagation, nursery, biochemical physiology, incretion, inheritance, disease prevention, population monitoring and so forth. After 30 years of research, the Giant Panda experts found solutions to the three challenges faced by the giant pandas: getting pandas to enter estrus and mate, getting them pregnant and ensuring that the cubs survive. As of 2010, the number of captive Giant Pandas increased from 10 in 1991 to 167 currently. This formed 60% of all Giant Pandas, making it the biggest captive group in the world.
- In 2001, the Forestry Administration in Beijing decided to construct the Ya'an Bifengxia Panda base, a subsidiary branch of CCRCGP, to reduce the captive Giant Panda population pressure at the Wolong Panda base, to ensure additional protection for the Giant Pandas and to facilitate further research. It was completed on December 28, 2003. Ya'an Bifengxia Panda base is 300km from the Wolong base, covering an area of 71.6 hectares. There are functional areas for panda breeding, reproduction, rescue, scientific research and tourism. Three areas are accessible to visitors and volunteers: Baixiongping (White Bear Ground), Panda Kindergarten and Paradise for Overseas-born pandas.
- In 2008, the Wolong base was destroyed in the Wenchuan earthquake on May 12. About 60 Giant Pandas from the Wolong base were transferred to the Bifengxia Panda base. There are now 80 Giant Pandas at the Bifengxia base. The destroyed Wolong base is being reconstructed. At the same time, a third branch base, Dujiangyan Giant Panda Rescue and Disease Control Center is being built and is scheduled to be ready in 2013. The three bases in Wolong, Ya'an and Dujiangyan will enclose the central panda distribution areas in China's west, southwest and northwest. This will be more effective and convenient for wild and captive Giant Pandas' protection, breeding, rescue and scientific research work.
Panda Volunteer and Working Procedures
1. About Volunteering
- Panda volunteers care and support panda conservation. They come to CCRCGP to experience Giant Panda feedings, management work and to know more about Giant Panda rescues and research.
- Panda volunteers can work short term (1 - 7 days), middle term (8 - 15 days) or long term (more than 15 days). All expenses including transport, food, accommodations, guides, etc. are to be paid by the volunteers themselves.
- The Center can accept up to 30 volunteers at any one time. Interested volunteers should send in their health certificates and application forms. Volunteers should be at least 12 years old.
Contact Department: Wolong Panda Club
Management Department: Wolong Panda Volunteer Service Center
Work Departments: Animal Management Department of CCRCGP, Scientific Research Department of CCRCGP, Animal Hospital Department of CCRCGP
2. How To Become A Volunteer
3. Registration Process
- After all the information has been checked, we will contact you and arrange your volunteer days. Then please come to the Ya'an Bifengxia Panda base. All the work will be arranged there as follows:
- Sign the security agreement at the Panda Club (first office on the right of base's entrance)
- You need to pay for the volunteer management fee, then get your uniform, volunteer's card, locker's key and gloves at Wolong Giant Panda Volunteer Service Centre (next to panda kindergarten) as agreed.
- Then follow the staff to meet the master (keeper) for some training before starting to work.
4. Fees And Charges
- Management fee: 200 RMB per day per person.
- Uniform renting: 150 RMB per person for renting one uniform (can be used for seven days) for your working.
- Admission ticket: 118 RMB per person (You need a ticket to get into the Panda Garden for the first day. Once becoming a volunteer, you can enter the base in working clothes and with a volunteer card on the following days and do not need to buy the gate ticket any more).
- Meal (Optional extras) Breakfast: 5RMB/person, Lunch 20RMB/person (volunteer can dine at staff canteen together with keepers and experience a different lifestyle).
- As the adult Giant Panda is sometimes aggressive, before starting to work for the organization, staff at the volunteer service center will give you a short training session about security, information about the Giant Pandas and about the volunteer work here. Please listen carefully and make sure that you understand all of it. If you are not sure about something, you can ask the staff for more information.
6. Volunteer Work
The volunteer work at the Animal Management department includes:
- Following your master's instructions on how to carry and handle food for the Giant Pandas (bamboo, fruits, and others).
- Following your master's instructions on how to clean and disinfect the Giant Pandas' enclosures.
- Watching your master's feeding and training sessions with the Giant Pandas.
- Together with your master, observing the behaviour of the Giant Pandas.
- Joining in other activities together with your master.
- To make our management much easier, please sign in at your work place when you arrive and sign out when you leave every day. If you have any questions or need help (using the computer for example) during the time you work here, you can contact the staff at the Volunteer Service Center.
7. Working Time
||Clean pandas’ enclosures, both indoors and outdoors. Do first morning feeding: bamboo and panda cakes. Those together usually take more than one hour depending on weather conditions.
||Panda cakes, fruit, bamboo and carrots.
||First afternoon feeding: panda cakes and carrots.
||Second afternoon feeding: bamboo and panda cakes.
- The timetable above is only a rough guide. Details will depend on the individual keeper.
- Sometimes the volunteer will help the master with weighing the pandas or training.
- You are free to walk around the base at any time, but make sure you have your volunteer's card with you and please let your master know if you are heading out for a walk on your own. Usually there will be free time between two feedings. During that time you can walk around the base or carry out your own business. You are free to use the computers and watch panda videos at the Volunteer Service Centre if you want to. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a panda babies' feeding show in the Panda Kindergarten between 15:00 and 15:30 every day. It's worth seeing at least once during your stay here.
- If you are going to stay here for a long time, tell the staff at the Volunteer Service Centre for a more enjoyable experience.
8. About Asking For Leave
- The work time will be arranged by the Volunteer Service Center, when you have something important (such as to see friends, go back to hotel, sickness) to deal with, you should ask for leave from your master. If you don't tell anybody and leave the panda base, the Volunteer Service has the right to discharge you!
9. Emergency Management
- Inform your masters or the staff immediately if there are any sudden accidents, incidents or misunderstandings so they can handle the situation and help you quickly.
- In case you get hurt, you should let your master or the staff at the Volunteer Service Center know and they will try their best to help you. In addition, all opinions and suggestions are welcome.
- Before signing the agreement, volunteers should read the security agreement carefully and know the requirements related to the management of uniforms and the volunteer's card.
- Volunteers should always obey the arrangement of the organization. If a volunteer is not satisfied with the work they are doing, they should tell the staff at the Volunteer Service Center.
- Volunteers should protect the honor of our volunteer organization.
- Work with passion and dress neatly. What's more, the volunteers should be observant and carry out not only their own jobs but also public activities.For example, together with their masters help to prevent tourists and other visitors from trying to get across the bars of the enclosures or feeding pandas. The volunteers should also help tourists and other visitors if they need it.
- If a volunteer is unable to perform his /her minimum job requirements, the volunteer will be not allowed to work for the organization again.
11. How To Get Your Volunteer Certificate
- When you finish your volunteer work return the uniform, volunteer's card, locker key and gloves to the Volunteer Service Centre. You will also need to show our staff your volunteer tickets. Then you can get a receipt to give to the staff in the Panda Club and get your Volunteer Service Certificate there.
- Our base provides neither accommodations nor meals for volunteers. However, there are some hostels outside of the panda base which are managed by local people, and they can provide accommodations and meals. The locals do not speak English. If you don't know any Chinese you can get help from the staff of the base. They are glad to help at any time. Hostel facilities near our base are poor and the rooms are damp. We suggest you stay in Ya'an city. It's 21km, about 40 minutes by taxi. The charge for one taxi is about 50 RMB. After 4 o'clock in the afternoon, you can take a shuttle bus to Ya'an city. The cost is 5 RMB for one person.
- The popular hotels in Ya'an are:
- Hong Zhu hotel, Four stars, Tel: 0835-8555888
- Moon Star hotel, Four stars, Tel: 0835-2225888
- Ya'an hotel, Three stars, Tel: 0835-2222610
- Ibis hotel, Business hotel, Tel: 0835-2225555
Local Places To Visit
- Bifengxia scenic spot is located around two gorges. The left gorge extends 7km and the right extends 6km. These two gorges form a "V" shape and an enclosed, cyclic
area. Here you can experience adventure, grace, wonder, and tranquility within its more than over 60 sites such as the "Nv-Wa Lake."
How to Find Us