Volunteer with Giant Pandas in China
- Placement locations: Bifengxia Panda Base, near Chengdu
- Role: To prepare food for the pandas, clean out enclosures and observe panda behaviour.
- Type of Placement: Panda centre
- Accommodation: Hostel
- Price: From
- What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Projects Abroad are offering volunteers a unique opportunity to work at China’s most established giant panda conservation and research centre. The giant panda is one of the world’s most iconic endangered species, and the well recognised logo of the World Wildlife Fund. Now is your chance to volunteer with pandas as part of a gap year, volunteer holiday or career break.
The giant panda population has declined rapidly over the decades as a result of extreme habitat loss and low birth rates. Poaching has also historically impacted on the numbers. It is thought that only 1000 - 1500 pandas exist in the wild, however, some conservationists are now estimating numbers are actually as high as 3000, and are convinced that recent conservation measures are working. Now you have the opportunity to be a part of this valuable conservation effort by volunteering at the panda research centre.
The China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) was set up by the Chinese Government in 1980 to further the protection and research work on the giant panda. In 2001, the Ya’an Bifengxia Panda Base was set up as a subsidiary centre to CCRCGP. The Bifengxia Panda Base is a centre for breeding and also includes panda rescue, research and tourist education programmes. Around 80 pandas are currently homed at the centre.
Animal Care in China - Volunteering with Giant Pandas
Volunteers work at the Bifengxia Panda Base, which is primarily a centre for captive breeding, and as a volunteer you will be part of the animal husbandry team. You will be involved in preparing food for the pandas, cleaning out enclosures and observing panda behaviour.
By volunteering with the giant panda, you will gain a unique knowledge of the habits and life cycle of the giant panda as well as the rescue and breeding programme carried out at the centre. Volunteers also learn about the research and conservation efforts relating to the giant panda.
This volunteer project suit anyone interested in general animal care, through to those with a specific interest in the captive breeding of large mammals. This is essentially an animal care project, but will also suit someone with a keen interest in animal conservation.
You do not need to have any specific experience with animals, but you must have a keen interest. These are large mammals and although they are in captivity, it is important to remember that they are still wild animals and should not be treated like pets.
The centre is located 2 ½ hours outside Chengdu in Bifengxia, near Ya'an city. You will stay in accommodation within walking distance of the centre. The surrounding area is beautiful with Bifeng gorge only a short distance away.
Volunteers may also have the option of teaching English at a local school a couple of days a week, in addition to working at the panda centre.
You can join the Animal Care project in China for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.