Forest panda park to build on conservation achievements

By Hao Nan | | Updated: 2017-04-22 00:49

Forest panda park to build on conservation achievements

World-leading environmental protection experience used to expand biodiversity of breeding habitats

Giant pandas, golden monkeys, snow leopards — the Sino-US nature documentary Born in China, which is being released in cinemas in the United States on Friday, showcases the wildlife and natural beauty that is unique to China.

Many US viewers have been loyal fans of the giant panda, one of the world's most beloved species. Bao Bao, a panda born at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in the US, had been an international star before she returned to Chengdu on Feb 21.

Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, is a major habitat for giant pandas. It has been dedicated to improving its ecological environment, protecting rare and endangered animals and plants for years.

The city's government recently announced that a giant panda park will be established on west Chengdu's Longmen Mountain, covering an area of 1,616 square kilometers. The park is an important part of a national system to increase the protection of giant pandas and other rare wildlife species.

According to a related program, the park system stretching across Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces will cover more than 27,000 sq km, equivalent to the size of three Yellowstone national parks combined.

Hou Rong, director at the research center of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, said Chengdu's giant panda national park will help to strengthen protection of the natural ecosystem and the biodiversity of the panda habitat.

Hou also suggested establishing a research center at the national park, given that Chengdu has accumulated rich experience in protecting, researching and establishing international communication around giant pandas.

The city led the world in setting up a giant panda base — a non-profit research and breeding facility — in 1987, with six hungry and sick pandas rescued from the wild. By the end of 2016, the base had established the world's biggest captive breeding population, with 176 pandas.

Chengdu, also known as the City of Hibiscus, has featured in the works of many poets since ancient times. Li Bai in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and Lu You in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) are prominent names among the many who have described its picturesque scenery.

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