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Cover Stories Series 2011> Sichuan Reconstructed> Video
UPDATED: May 11, 2011 Web Exclusive
Bifengxia Panda Base: A Cozy Haven for Giant Pandas


The Bifengxia Panda Base of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda is affiliated with the Administration Bureau of the Wolong National Nature Reserve.

Established on December 28, 2003, by the State Forestry Administration, the base covers an area of 1,075 mu (about 71.6 hectares). The facility is located at the Bifengxia scenic area with an average height of 1,050 meters above sea level.

The 8.0-magnitude earthquake in Wenchuan County on May 12, 2008 devastated the ecosystem of Wolong National Nature Reserve, located a mere 30 km from the epicenter. Hence, around 70 percent of Wolong's giant pandas were transferred to the Bifengxia Panda Base, making it the largest facility for panda protection and research in China.

"It has been ten years since the base was launched. It played an important role in relocating pandas after the quake," said Tang Chunxiang, Assistant Director of the Bifengxia Panda Base. "In fact, our initial goal was to ensure the pandas' safety and reduce the potential risks of extensive infectious disease."

"China is now focusing on protection of wild pandas, including conservation of their habitat and protection and research of the population. Captive breeding and research are complementary goals in protecting the giant panda population," Tang said.

For the overall reconstruction planning following the Wenchuan quake, the Chinese Government proposed to rebuild the nature reserves in Wolong and Baishuijiang, relocate the Wolong panda breeding institute, monitor pandas as well as their habitats and put in place an early warning system in the event of a bamboo blossoming season.

Under the current schedule, the reconstruction projects in Wolong will be finished and put into use by the end of 2012, and most of the giant pandas living at Bifengxia Panda Base will return to Wolong.

(Reporting from Bifengxia Panda Base)

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