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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 resource 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.
The Chengdu Municipal Government decided to establish the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in March 1987. Leaders of the Central Government, Provincial Government, and Municipal Government, as well as people from foreign countries, have all contributed to building the Research Base. The Research Base was built by the Chengdu Garden Bureau.
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu is located about 10km from the Chengdu downtown area; the Research Base was built to imitate the wild ecological environment of pandas. It covers 600 acres in area with a green coverage of 96 percent. The base created a perfect ecological environment for the living and breeding of pandas and other precious and rare wild animals. It breeds 23 pandas and lesser pandas, which is about one-third of the entire captive giant panda population in the world. Most of the giant pandas at the Base stay individually in the captive cages, which are in fact large enclosures, each consists of an in-door room and an out-door courtyard. The semi-nature enclosures are very large wild areas but protected by border fences. Those giant pandas that will soon be released back to the wild will be put in the semi-nature enclosures for a long enough period of time for them to adapt to the natural environment. The Research Base also houses black-necked cranes, white storks, 14 species of bamboo, and 300 other plant species. Ninety species of birds also inhabit the area. 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 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 coexist with humankind.
The construction of the Research Base and its achievements exemplify the Chinese government's high level of concern, goals and willingness to take responsibility for environmental protection. The Research Base also represents China's highest goals for conservation and wildlife management. The Chinese government’s promise to the international society, when it signed a contract to conserve biodiversity, has been partially fulfilled with the construction of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding promotes Chengdu's captive population.
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