On the Expedition
The bamboo-chewing giant panda is one of the most iconic endangered animals in the world. In the Sichuan province of China, you’ll work up close with pandas cared for in captivity so that they may breed and live longer and healthier lives.
This exciting project takes place at the Ya'an Bifengxia panda base, which is currently home to over 80 captive giant pandas. As an Earthwatch team member, you'll have the rare opportunity to monitor and record the daily behavior of the pandas. You'll help prepare and deliver bamboo to the captive pandas and help keep their living area clean. And you'll watch and sort videos taken of pandas at the Wolong National Nature Reserve, Bifengxia's sister panda base, where some pandas are being trained for reintroduction into the wild.
Collectively, your responsibilities will support 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 even longer than that.
Meals and Accommodations
You'll stay in the IBIS hotel in Ya'an, a city of about one and a half million people. IBIS offers single rooms for all volunteers, as well as en suite bathrooms, internet access, a dining room, and a bar. You can expect to eat wonderful Chinese food on the expedition - either Chinese cuisine, or local Sichuan cuisine famous for its spicy flavor. Breakfast may include fruit, biscuits, cereal, hot and dry noodles with sesame-paste sauce, bean-paste omelettes, steamed dumplings, and steamed buns. Lunch may consist of steamed buns, steamed dumplings, rice, noodles, various Chinese dishes, sandwiches, water, fruit and biscuits. Dinner may include fish and meat dishes, vegetables, rice, or other typical Chinese food. Snacks will also be provided, and vegetarian food can be prepared.
About the Research Area
Ya'an Bifengxia panda base is a famous tourist area of stunning wild beauty in Sichuan Province, China. It is about 11 miles from Yaan City, and 93 miles north of Chengdu. This gorge is made up of two alleys in a "V" shape, which measure about 4 and 5 miles respectively. With an elevation ranging from about 2,300 to 6,500 feet, the gorge is famous for its lush vegetation, and waterfalls. There are about 328 species of wild plants here. Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Base is situated at an elevation of 3,600 to 3,950 feet.