Wolong Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, China: Restoring Giant Panda Habitat
Introduction to the project:
Since 1993 the U.S.-China Environmental Fund (USCEF) has worked to strengthen the stewardship and conservation of China’s natural and cultural resources by building and supporting partnerships between US-China environmental communities. Today USCEF’s lead program is “Panda Mountain,” a fully integrated conservation and harmonious development initiative in the Wolong Nature Reserve. The Panda Mountain mission is to conserve the Giant Panda and the surrounding mountain ecosystems by restoring the balance between man and nature.
31 02 6 N, 103 12 30 E
Why is Wolong important?
The Wolong Nature Reserve is the leading home for the Giant Panda, and an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site at the center of the world’s largest block of contiguous panda habitat. This iconic protected area provides an ideal platform to showcase best international practices for adaptive ecosystem management and the ecological restoration of fragmented and degraded habitat.
Restoration programs at Wolong can engage and inspire greater societal commitment for the “Scaling Up of Conservation,” helping shift in resource management policy from restricting human activity to fostering hands-on engagement long-term stewardship, and thereby demonstrate that people can be positive ecological change agents.
Projects on the ground
Panda Mountain’s science-based ecological restoration programs at the Wolong target monoculture stands of the exotic Japanese Larch (Larix kaempferi L.), degraded and fragmented habitat suitable for Giant Pandas, and overgrazed alpine grasslands. In the coming year, scientific demonstration plots will utilize the non-native Larch to provide economic benefit for local communities and to support native forest restoration to enhance and expand panda habitat.
Specific activities will build teams of indigenous farmers, scientists, ecologists, protected area personnel, tourists/volunteers, and students to collect seeds, cuttings, and transplants to create native nursery stock for restoration plantings in the larch stands. Other activities will build mountain conservation camps to house and train stakeholders in ecological restoration and sustainability.
Want to get involved?
Panda Mountain is seeking dedicated volunteers to serve at Wolong and become part of a restoration community. Volunteers who have practical, hands-on experience in forestry, horticulture, agriculture, carpentry and simple timber frame construction, community development and micro-enterprises are welcome to work and live in Wolong. If you are interested to be on the front lines to conserve and expand giant panda habitat, support native forest restoration, preserve indigenous culture, and promote sustainable enterprises, please contact Panda Mountain.
Would you like to volunteer at the Wolong?
Please contact Anna Beech at Panda Mountain, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit Panda Mountain’s website, www.uscef.org/about-panda-mountain.html