The Chengdu Panda Base was founded in 1987, with six giant pandas rescued from the wild. Today (2008) our captive population has increased to 83 individuals from that founding population of only six. Genetic diversity in the population is sustained by the exchange of preserved genetic material with other facilities. We are very proud that we have not taken any giant pandas from the wild for 20 years. This demonstrates our unique and uncompromising commitment to the conservation of the wild ( in situ ) population and the healthy growth of the captive ( ex situ ) population.
Due to our research and commitment to animal health and welfare, 124 giant panda cubs have been born to our Base in 85 litters, 88 survived and now we have 83. To assist other institutions holding giant pandas we provide technical support and send our experts to assist with care, rearing, and breeding. So that all giant panda researchers can share their knowledge, we host the Giant Panda Annual Technical Meeting, inviting researchers from all over the world to share information to improve captive management for the conservation of giant pandas.
The Chengdu Panda Base covers an area of 106 hectares and will be enlarged to 200 hectares during the third phase of our expansion. Red pandas, golden monkeys and other wild and/or endangered species live and breed here.
Educational Tourism Center – Visitor Education
Our Giant Panda Museum, along with satellite museums in our Research Center and Panda Hospital provides 7,000m 2 of educational space to foreign and domestic visitors. We worked with design companies from the United States to create modern, interactive learning experiences. Through these learning areas, visitors will come to understand the depth of research and commitment it takes to help endangered species to survive in our world that is dangerously dominated by human influence. People the world over need to understand that this amount of research cannot be done for all the plants and animals that are in danger, and that conservation depends on all of us. Our Base is a unique facility and network for some very fortunate species.
As a famous sightseeing destination and a window to the wild, we improved our service facilities for tourists. Our efforts have made the Panda Base attractive to foreign and domestic audiences. We will fully use the resource of our endangered animals.
After four years of continuous efforts, not only are the research facilities and management strategies becoming more and more polished, but great achievements have been obtained by putting the results of research into practice. In 2001, the lab was formally named the “Sichuan Pilot Lab for Breeding and Conservation Genetics of Endangered Animals” by the Sichuan Provincial Government, with support from the Department of Basic Research, Ministry of Science and Technology of PRC and Science and Technology Bureau of Sichuan Province. Professor Zhang Anju was appointed director of the lab and Mr. Xiang Zhonghuai, the academician of the ChineseAcademy of Sciences was appointed director of the academic committee. Focusing on reproductive sciences, conservation genetics and wildlife ecology, the lab has become one of China’s high level academic research centers in the field of endangered wildlife conservation.