Pandas Forever

Pandas in Wolong

The Wolong National Nature Preserve, in the Sichuan Province of China, is home to more than 150 giant pandas. It's one of the key sites for panda breeding research, and 66 cubs have been born at Wolong since it was established in 1980. Pandas are an endangered species, with between 1500 and 3000 living in the wild, and less than 300 in captivity (research centers and zoos).

A panda eating bamboo.

The Wolong Nature Reserve covers around 200,000 hectares (772 square miles) in the Ming Shan mountain range, in the ABA Tibetan Autonomous Region, near the Tibetan Plateau. Elevations in the reserve range from 1555 to 4600 meters (4,000 to 11,000 ft).

The Wolong Panda Center was devestated during the May 2008 earthquake, and the main road to the center was impassable after the earthquake. Five staff members and one captive panda died in the earthquake. The pandas at the center were temporarily relocated to another panda center in China, until a rebuilt Wolong Panda Center opened in 2012, in another area of the reserve. The new center integrates scientific research with captive breeding and also creates opportunities for introducing pandas into the wild.