Established in 1963, the Wolong National Nature Reserve joined the International Man and Biosphere Reserve Network of UNESCO in 1980. It was the first and is the most famous reserve center established in Chengdu City for the protection of forest ecosystems and precious wildlife like the giant pandas and the lesser panda. Zoologists from China and around the world have done extensive ecological research on the giant pandas with remarkable results. Surrounded by the diverse landscape in this special subtropical region, Wolong National Nature Reserve is a beautiful location for a sightseeing tour or tour of observation.
As China's largest and the most important sanctuary for giant pandas, and other endangered wildlife, Wolong Nature Reserve has a well-preserved forest with an intact ecosystem. There are more than 450 vertebrate and over 4,000 plants species, and the population of giant pandas accounts for more than 10% of the total giant panda population in China. Located east of the mysterious Siguniang Mountain (Four Girls Mountain), the Wolong National Nature Reserve has the reputation as a natural parkland for animals and plants.
There are many sites open to the public in Wolong National Nature Reserve. The Biological Sample Showroom showcases various animals and plants samples, the Hetao Village Giant Panda Breeding Grounds where visitors can view and get more information about the giant panda, and the Yingxiong and Yinchang Valleys where visitors can enjoy the breathtaking landscape. Many of the wild giant pandas in the Wolong National Nature Reserve have been tagged, and visitors with the aid of a guide and a GPS tracker can try to find the giant panda living in its natural environment.
With the geographical environment, complicated topographical features, and pleasant climate, Wolong National Nature Reserve is full of rare and precious plant species among which can be used as ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine. The beauty of Wolong Nature Reserve is not only the perfect place for the giant pandas to live but also for visitors enjoy. The mountains in the area are covered with primitive forests, flowing springs, and large waterfalls. The snow-covered mountains, with their ancient glaciers, offer the perfect backdrop for this pristine setting and make visiting this special place unforgettable. Most visitors to Wolong National Nature Reserve come to visit the giant panda but find so much more.
In the Wolong National Nature Reserve, there are some small villages scattered throughout the mountains that are home to several ethnic minority groups. The ethnic groups of the Tibetan and Qiang ethnic minorities live as they have for centuries and have maintained their unique cultural aspects intact. Visitors to the Wolong National Nature Reserve can visit the homes of these people, where they will be warmly welcomed, and offered local dishes. The food cooked by the minority groups of Wolong National Nature Reserve is unique even in Chengdu. There they eat the food that they themselves grow. It is served in a Sichuan style with a lot of spice. It is a wonderful way to better appreciate how local people in this area live.
The Wolong National Nature Reserve is famous for its giant pandas but has so much more to offer. It is not only an ideal paradise for wildlife, but also a perfect place for visitors to go sightseeing, relax, and maybe even learn something.
*Sadly, the world-famous Wolong Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center was severely damaged in the earthquake(May 12th, 2008) and the pandas were relocated to the Ya'an (Bifengxia) Reserve for safe keeping.
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